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Canine parvovirus (parvo) is a highly contagious viral infection that can affect dogs at any age. Although it is more commonly seen in puppies, dogs of any age can get parvo. This virus is not known to infect people. The virus works by infecting rapidly-dividing cells in the body, including cells in the intestines, lymphatic tissue, and bone marrow. By destroying cells in the intestines, the virus causes nutrients and fluids to not be absorbed into the body. Bacteria and toxins produced by some bacteria can leak across the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream to cause life-threatening problems. 


  • lethargy (lazy, depressed)
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • blood in poop
  • Not eating or drinking


In El Paso canine parvovirus (parvo) is a year round concern. This disease is extremely contagious and often fatal.  Other dogs can become infected by sniffing, licking, or ingesting the stool or anything that the stool has touched, even in microscopic amounts. The virus itself is extremely resistant and can remain stable in the environment (and therefore contagious to other dogs) for years. The only way to be sure that the disease has been removed is to bleach the entire area that had direct contact with the infected pet and their poop. Little do most people know that they can carry the parvovirus disease and infect their pet. Many times a pet owner may pet an infected pet or step through an infected area unknowingly. Since the disease is so easily carried it can spread as quickly as wildfire.

Mesa Veterinary Clinic & Paws N Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services Statistics:

2014: 143 Diagnosed
2015: 84 Diagnosed

If you suspect that you’re pet has parvovirus please contact us immediately at 915-584-4491 so that we can schedule your pet an appointment to get tested. At the time of your appointment please wait in your car and call us to let us know you have arrived. We will have a technician come out to your vehicle to perform the test before bringing them in. This helps us to contain the disease and limit the changes of spreading it to another patient if your pet is positive. The earlier we are able to diagnose the disease the less likely the disease is to become fatal.


There are no medications that kill the parvovirus itself. Hospitalization offers the best chance of survival. Hospitalization includes IV fluids, antibiotics, anti-nausea medications, vitamins, supplements, and plenty of loving care from our technicians who help nurse them back to health. Dogs that survive generally have no permanent damage or any other long-term negative effects and are almost always immune to parvoviral enteritis for the rest of their lives. If left untreated parvovirus can be fatal (cause death).


You can prevent parvo by keeping your pet’s up-to-date on their vaccines. If you have a puppy, make sure to complete their DHPP series of 3-4 vaccines given 3-4 weeks apart from each other. Also avoid taking them anywhere until they have completed their vaccine series to ensure they are fully protected.

Want to learn even more? Here are some veterinary approved resources: