The reason I dread this disease so much is that it is a preventable disease that mostly affects puppies. It makes them very sick and painful and without intensive treatment, many puppies die. Most of the time, we can make a preliminary diagnosis based on what the client tells us and what the puppy looks and smells like. For pictures of a typical parvo puppy, look here.
The disease is common in the environment, especially in areas where dogs are present in high densities, such as cities. Dogs can walk through contaminated dirt, go home and lick their feet and get infected. Usually within a few days they lose their appetite and can begin having extremely foul smelling diarrhea, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. They often appear very uncomfortable and become dehydrated very quickly.
With intensive care, they can often be saved and once recovered are immune to the disease. Today's vaccinations are very effective at preventing parvo as long as boosters are given at appropriate times. This is critical in the young dog.
Please see your Lehigh Valley Veterinarian to get your puppy vaccinated for this deadly disease.
For more information, and a detailed description of this disease, go to veterinarypartner.com.