Q:My questions are about preventing parvo and what to do if it is suspected.
There have been a lot of postings about cases of parvo on Facebook recently. It is very expensive to try to cure.
One local vet tech said their practice requires a $500 cash down payment before they will start any treatment, and it can go up to and over $1,000. And there isn't a 100-percent guarantee that it can be cured no matter how much money is spent.
With all of the puppy and dog rescue and fostering programs that are now going on, this can have very tragic effects: puppies put down because they contract it, or precious money spent in the hopes of saving them.
What would you suggest as ways to help prevent parvo in the first place? This virus is claiming these precious lives and also wrecking the budgets of the rescues and foster groups that are trying so hard to save lives.
And if parvo is even suspected, what actions should be taken before the pet is taken to the vet to help have the best outcome, if treatment is an option rather than the puppy or dog being put down?
A: Great question! As far as prevention goes, the mainstay today and in years past has been, and will continue to be, vaccination, vaccination and vaccination.
Dogs who are well-vaccinated against parvo, distemper and other common dog viruses will not contract these diseases.
All veterinarians have effective and reliable vaccination schedules set up for puppies so that as the maternal antibodies they receive from nursing their mothers start to wane, we begin vaccinating to ensure they stay protected.
All dogs need to have two vaccines against parvo after they are 16 weeks of age to ensure protection. That is why most puppies receive vaccines at 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age.
Another point about vaccines: They must be fresh and not expired, they must be kept refrigerated always and they need to be injected correctly into the puppies.