It is a bad year for Parvo! Watch out!

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Our puppy was fully vaccinated around 16 weeks, and even though we waited over a week to take him out in public areas in order for him to build immunity, he still managed to get parvo on his first visit to the park.

He is still recovering and not fully out of the woods, but he is almost back to his crazy curious puppy self. Our vet said that this was a bad year for parvo in Northern California, and apparently there is an outbreak of a particularly deadly strain in Washington state.

Vaccines are extremely effective, but not 100%. Additionally, any issues in storage or manufacturing of a vaccine can effect its efficacy. The best strategy is to know the signs of parvo and take your dog in to the vet before it gets severe. There is a 90% fatality rate in dogs that are not treated, but 60-80% survival in treated dogs. The first symptoms unfortunately overlap with a lot of other diseases/issues, and our vet first thought this was an issue with him eating something bad especially since he was fully vaccinated. Luckily she had the instinct to run a parvo test, and twice it came back weakly positive. We believe the vaccines provided him some protection as his symptoms were not as severe as many parvo puppies, but still bad enough to nearly kill him. He spent 3 days in the ICU and was sent home where we have to monitor him 24/7 and give him many medications and subcutaneous fluids. He probably wouldn’t have made it if we had waited to take him in, as we caught it before the dehydration and bloody diarrhea had gotten bad.


vomiting bloody diarrhea (parvo infects stem cells in the gut and causes sloughing of the intestinal lining) fever lethargy loss of appetite

Know where your closest (and best!) 24/7 emergency vet is in your area. Do your research! Have them on speed dial. We pay an arm and a leg for vet care because my last dog died due to veterinary negligence, and having access available to answer our questions 24/7 is crucial in parvo as the disease can yo-yo in severity. One minute puppies can be happy and bright, and an hour later they’re pooping blood and vomiting again. It is a terrifying virus.

P.s. if anyone wanted to know the story with our previous dog, she was prescribed medication that was contraindicated for dogs with kidney disease even though that vet is the one who diagnosed her kidney disease. That pushed her into kidney failure, and he tricked us into thinking she was getting better even though it turned out he either didn’t understand the diagnostic tests he had ordered / didn’t realize her kidney values were maxing out the limits of detection on their machine.

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