Official Statement from West. Michigan
Vets to the Grand Rapids Press
Suspected Parvoviral Infection in the Canine Community
West Michigan Academy of Small Animal
called an emergency meeting of local veterinarians to discuss
concerns regarding canine parvovirus in our pet population.
Parvoviral infection has been prevalent in the
canine population since
the early 1980s. This disease causes severe vomiting and diarrhea
that can lead to life threatening dehydration. Dogs that contract
this infection and are not properly treated will usually die from
canine parvoviral infection. Thirty-six area veterinarians gathered
and compared results of current research articles, incidence of
infection and methods of protection for our canine pets. These are
There has not
been an obvious increase in the number of canine
parvoviral infections in properly immunized dogs this season.
However, dogs that are not appropriately
vaccinated may run a very
high risk of parvoviral infection. This disease is a potentially
devastating, life-threatening illness.
There have been no confirmed cases of the new C2 strain of
parvovirus in Michigan. This strain of the virus has been
Europe and in 12 other US states and has been present for 7+ years.
Currently, it appears that properly immunized dogs are protected
the C2 strain of parvovirus. It is imperative that dogs be properly
immunized in order to have the best chance of protection from all
forms of parvovirus. All the vaccines currently being used by area
veterinarians are protective against the 2C strain of parvovirus
(providing the proper vaccination protocols are followed).
Unvaccinated puppies and unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated
adults dogs are at greatest risk for parvovirus and should be seen
their veterinarian as soon as possible.
Proper immunization protocol:
-Puppies should be vaccinated beginning at 4 to 8 weeks and then
vaccinated every 2 to 4 weeks until the puppies are older than 16
weeks (4 months) of age.
-After 16 weeks of age, the adult dog should be vaccinated 1 year
later and then at appropriate intervals as described by your
-An unvaccinated or inappropriately vaccinated adult dog should
receive a series of two vaccinations given 2 to 4 weeks apart.
-Vaccines must be stored and administered properly the vaccine will
not be effective if inappropriately handled.
-Vaccines should only administered to completely healthy dogs. Dogs
that are unfit, unhealthy or suffering from parasites may not
to the vaccine.
-Veterinary consultation, full physical examination of the pet, and
proper vaccination are important for full protection against this
It is very important to make sure that the pet owner=92s boarding
facilities, grooming salons, day care centers and dog parks are
practicing preventive care by requiring the pets in their facilities
to be properly immunized against all of the highly communicable or
life threatening diseases. For dogs those diseases are:
Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Rabies and
Bronchiseptica (also known as Kennel Cough or Canine Cough). In
addition, the pet owner should proceed with caution when exposing
their dogs to facilities that have no strict vaccination
Parvovirus is a very serious and robust virus and can survive for
years in the environment. Consult with your local veterinary office
for specifics about cleaning and disinfection of the environment if
your pet has been exposed to parvovirus.
Your veterinarian is the best source of information regarding pet
health and prevention of communicable disease. If you do not have a
veterinarian, the Kent County Humane Society can help you find a
veterinarian in your area that will answer your questions and help
keep your pets healthy.