Treating the Disease

Replacing Fluids
The treatment of CPV is fairly straightforward and directed at supportive therapy. Replacing fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea is probably the single most important treatment. Intravenous administration of a balanced electrolyte solution is preferred, but in less severe cases, subcutaneous or oral fluids may be used.

Blood Transfusions, Corticosteroids & Deworming Agents
In severe cases, blood transfusions may be necessary. Antibiotic therapy is usually given to help control secondary bacterial infections. In those dogs who have severe symptoms, antiserum against Endotoxins may be given. Corticosteroids may be given if the animal is in shock. In cases of severe vomiting, drugs to slow the vomiting may also be used.

After the intestinal symptoms begin to subside, a broad spectrum deworming agent is often used. Restricting the food during periods of vomiting is also necessary and parenteral nutrition may be necessary.

Inactivating the Disease
All Parvoviruses are extremely stable and are resistant to adverse environmental influences such as low pH and high heat. Exposure to UV light and Sodium Hypochlorite can inactivate Parvovirus. Sodium Hypochlorite is a 1:32 dilution of household bleach: ½ cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. The bleach solution can be impaired by organic matter and needs to have adequate exposure time and proper concentrations to work effectively.

Immunizations & Vaccinations
If a puppy recovers from Parvovirus infection, he is immune to reinfection for probably at least 20 months and possibly for life. After recovery, the virus is not shed in the feces. There are many commercially prepared attenuated, modified live CPV-2 vaccines available.

Current Vaccines
The current vaccines protects against all strains of the Canine Parvovirus, including the relatively new CPV-2c strain. Although some people have expressed concern about the possibility of modified live vaccines reverting to a virulent strain after being given and then causing disease, studies have repeatedly shown that this does not occur. Commercially prepared vaccines are safe and do not cause disease. 

Vaccine Response Time
In one study of a cross section of different puppies the age at which they were able to respond to a vaccine and develop protection covered a wide period of time. The the following ages a certain percentage of puppies are able to respond to the vaccine:
  • 6 weeks: 25%
  • 9 weeks: 40%
  • 16 weeks: 60%
  • 18 weeks: 95%