Canine parvovirus is a common infectious disease, especially among puppies.
As such, it spreads easily among dogs through direct contact or via infected feces.
Being that contagious, the question is – can humans get it from their pets as well?
Some diseases can only be transmitted among animals, while others can affect both animals and humans. The latter are called zoonotic – designing the disease’s capacity of going from animals to humans and vice versa.
Our article today focuses on the parvovirus and will answer the following question – can dogs transmit this virus to us?
But before we do that, let’s find out more about this virus!
What Is The Parvovirus?
Parvo is a rather new disease among dogs, dating back to the 70s. However, in the relatively short period of its existence, it has caused a lot of fatal outcomes among dogs. Fortunately, there is a great way to prevent this – vaccination!
This disease is most common among puppies and older dogs, but it doesn’t mean that adult dogs are immune.
No non-vaccinated dog is. Not only that – this is a highly contagious disease that’s 80 percent fatal! Parvo is extremely persistent and can survive for months, even on furniture and clothes.
The most common symptoms are the following:
- No appetite, dog refusing to eat
- Bloody diarrhea
- Dehydration caused by not drinking enough water
- Ongoing vomit
It’s also possible for older dogs not to show symptoms at all.
In more serious cases, however, the symptoms mentioned above will occur. These symptoms are not that particular and can indicate many problems, which is why it’s so important to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice anything.
Check out this video below which will help you recognize parvo in your dog!
Can Parvovirus in Dogs Be Treated?
Although this disease can be fatal, it’s still possible to treat it if you react in time.
There are no pharmaceuticals for killing this virus as of yet, so the treatment is straightforward. It consists of controlling the symptoms and boosting the immune system.
Affected dogs are usually hospitalized for about 5-7 days. Well there, they will receive antibiotics, various drugs controlling vomiting and diarrhea, and intravenous drops.
However, this isn’t something you and your dog have to endure as you can simply solve it by vaccinating your dog as a puppy!
Can You Touch A Dog With Parvo?
Parvo is contagious, and something that you shouldn’t joke around with.
Since parvo can be transmitted on the hands and clothes (even shoes) the chances of exposing another dog to it are high.
If you touch a dog with parvo and you have a puppy at home, make sure that you wash your hands and remove your clothes before you touch your puppy.
The best way to keep parvo away from your dog is to avoid touching unvaccinated dogs for around 6 weeks after a dog has recovered from parvo.
What Happens If You Touch A Dog With Parvo?
If a dog touches any area that is infected with parvo, such as dog bedding, water bowls, carpet, or kennel, there are chances of a dog catching the virus.
When you touch a dog with parvo, all you have to do is to make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly and remove your clothes safely.
Still, the best way to keep your dog safe is to protect him by vaccinating him.
What’s Causing Parvo?
In fact, a very simple virus is behind it, according to dogtime.
The virus is in the form of a single strand of DNA, without the protection of a sheath of fat. Interestingly enough, this makes it a very stubborn virus that is really hard to kill.
Parvo can in fact design many different viruses, depending on the target. In dogs, a mutant called CPV-2 is behind it.
It appeared out of the blue in 1978, after which a mutation of it appeared a year later and caused an epidemic among dogs. Fortunately, proper vaccination was established.
However, it’s important to understand that different species suffer from different kinds of parvo, which will make answering our question of the day much easier!
Can A Dog Get Parvo From Human Contact?
Simply said, yes. Parvo is highly contagious and if a person carries it, on clothes, for example, the virus can be spread to dogs just by touching them.
Does this mean that a gentle and short pat on the head can present a start of infectious start? Yes, this short movement can be the start of a life-threatening condition.
Can Humans Get Parvo?
The answer is yes. Humans can suffer from Parvovirus just like canines can. However, the type of virus causing it as well as its symptoms are different.
Parvovirus infection in humans is most common in children, and especially in the winter and spring months. It spreads through respiratory secretions, as well as with contact.
Parvovirus can also spread through the blood which means that infected mothers can pass the virus to their babies.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to understand when parvo-infected people are most contagious since the virus spreads during the week before the rash appears.
A Parvovirus infection in humans is often associated with following signs:
- Upset Stomach
- Runny Nose
- Distinctive Facial Rash
- Joint Soreness
Since elementary-school children are more likely to get parvo, they are the ones that usually show all of these symptoms when infected with this virus.
However, the distinctive facial rash, as well as other signs, may not appear in adults infected with parvo. Instead, they usually show only weaker symptoms such as joint soreness.
Can Humans Get Parvo From Dogs?
Considering the fact that the parvovirus belongs to a family of viruses, more precisely the Parvoviridae family, there are different types of parvovirus among different species.
There are approximately dozens of different types of this virus, each characteristic of a different species.
Is parvo contagious to humans? Yes.
But, is dog parvo contagious to humans? The answer to our question is – no.
Humans can suffer from parvo, but not the same kind as dogs. This is why dogs can’t transmit their form of the virus to us.
This goes the other way as well – we can’t transmit our form of the virus, called the B19 virus, to dogs or other animals.
But even though we now know that’s impossible, there’s still one more thing you should think about.
How Can Humans Get Parvo?
The only way for humans to get parvo is through transmission. Parvo can spread through respiratory secretions, such as saliva.
Parvo can also spread through nasal mucus or sneezes and coughs of an infected person.
Can parvo transmit through blood? Yes. Parvo can be easily transmitted not only through blood but through blood products as well. How so?
For example: if a pregnant woman is infected with parvo she can pass the virus to her baby.
How Long Can Parvo Live On Clothes?
So far it’s known that parvo can stick to clothes and other surfaces, such as dog bowls.
This virus needs only three to four days to become widespread throughout the body, while it can remain stuck on clothes for up to 5 to 6 months.
Can People Transmit Parvo Among Dogs?
Even though people can’t get parvo from dogs, and vice versa, there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget – people transmit parvo from one dog to another.
Namely, people who are in contact with an infected dog can easily transmit it if they come in contact with another dog.
As mentioned, this virus is extremely tough and can live for a long time not only in dogs but on objects as well. So, the virus can be carried on clothes, shoes, or any other object you may carry.
Naturally, being as contagious as it is, it will easily be transmitted to dogs who are not vaccinated.
The best way to prevent this from happening is naturally vaccination. Protection against parvo is included in the DHPP vaccine which should be a core vaccine.
Puppies should first receive it when they’re 6-10 weeks old, after which they should receive at least one more vaccine for full effect.
When it comes to disinfecting objects, it won’t be enough solely to apply a regular disinfectant. A mix of bleach and water is the best way to destroy the virus.
Do Dogs Survive Parvo?
Parvo is a disease that dog owners usually know a lot about it.
Since there is a concrete vaccine that can protect dogs, veterinaries do their best to communicate the importance of dog vaccination.
Since there is a vaccine that keeps dogs safe from parvo, little is knowns about how fatal parvo is.
According to AKC, ‘the survival rate of dogs treated by a veterinarian is 68 to 92 percent’ although the good news is that puppies that survive 3 to 4 days make a complete recovery.
Parvo is a highly contagious and dangerous virus that can affect any dog, but it’s usually puppies that get infected.
Fortunately, vaccination protects dogs from getting sick which is why it’s mandatory for all puppies! Don’t skip the DHPP vaccine and you won’t have to deal with this dangerous disease.
Even though parvo is very easy to transmit among dogs, people can’t get affected.
There are a lot of different parvoviruses for different species, and humans too have their own form. This is why dogs can’t transmit their version of the virus and vice versa.
It’s important to note that humans do play a big role in transmitting the disease from dog to dog if they’re in contact with an infected dog.
As mentioned, the virus is really resistant and can survive on clothes and objects for a really long time.
Once again – make sure to vaccinate your dog and avoid this hassle altogether!