IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION! Due to the increase in Parvovirus (Parvo) cases at our Animal Rehoming Centres and Community Vet Clinics, we urge you to book in to have your dog or puppy vaccinated against this highly contagious virus.  Parvo is potentially deadly to both unvaccinated dogs and puppies.

Parvovirus – Home Care 

What is Parvovirus?

Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes acute gastrointestinal illness, affecting unvaccinated dogs and puppies.

Symptoms of Parvovirus

The most common symptoms of Parvovirus are vomiting and diarrhoea, commonly bloody.

After a dog is exposed to Parvovirus there is an incubation period of three to seven days before the first symptoms appear

Some dogs may only have vomiting or diarrhoea, or they may simply not want to eat and/or they may be more lethargic than normal, especially in the early stages.

How is Parvovirus spread?

Parvovirus is transmitted from one dog to another via infected faecal material (poo).

Anywhere an infected dog has been should be considered contaminated.  It is possible to bring the virus home to your dog simply by walking where a sick dog has been and getting the virus on your shoes.

Treatment of Parvovirus

Veterinary attention should be sought as soon as possible if you think your dog may have Parvovirus, as dogs can die from this disease very quickly.  This is especially true for young puppies.

A test is performed first to confirm infection.  Dogs with Parvovirus generally need to be admitted to hospital to be properly treated.

The most important part of treating Parvovirus is giving intravenous fluids to prevent or compensate dehydration.  Medication is also given to relieve pain, prevent further infection and control symptoms of nausea.

Dogs may be in hospital anywhere from overnight to 10 or more days. The majority of dogs with Parvovirus survive if veterinary treatment is received early.

Cleaning up your house/yard after your dog has had Parvovirus

Parvovirus survives a long time in the environment and is very hard to kill. It can survive for several years in certain environments.  Most regular household cleaners do not kill this virus and it is resistant to heat, cold, humidity and dryness.

Anywhere that a dog infected with Parvovirus has been should be considered contaminated.  This includes footwear and clothing worn by people who have handled the dog while it is sick.  Generally, if a dog has been in your house, any room the dog has been in should be considered contaminated; any room the dogs bedding has been in should be considered contaminated; any food or water bowls, collars and leashes the dog has used should be considered contaminated; any toys or items the dog may have had contact with should be considered contaminated; and if the dog has been in the yard the entire yard should be considered contaminated.

Before using any cleaners, all faeces (poo) should be collected, double bagged and thrown out.  Anything contaminated that can be thrown away and replaced should be.

The best household cleaner to use to kill Parvovirus is bleach (1 part bleach to 30 parts water).  It should be used on hard surfaces including tiles, concrete, paving, bottoms of shoes etc. – leave the bleach on the surface for at least 15 minutes.  Anything that can be washed in bleach should be