What is parvovirus and distemper?

Distemper and parvovirus  are two types of contagious viral infections in dogs that can be avoided with a DHPP vaccination

Parvovirus or shortly known as ‘Parvo’, is a highly contagious viral infection that attacks dog’s the intestines. The symptoms of parvovirus usually appear in about three to seven days after exposure. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, and weight loss.

Distemper is also a virus that affects the gastrointestinal tract in dogs. However, it can also harm the respiratory and the nervous system if not treated. Signs of distemper vary depending on the stages of infection. At the initial stage, symptoms usually include eye and clear nasal discharge, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Both illnesses can be life-threatening when it’s not dealt with in a timely manner. Dogs that show symptoms of these illnesses should seek immediate medical attention and be isolated from other dogs.

Treatment for both viruses are antibiotics, anti-nausea medications, hospitalization, and self-quarantine but the best way for your dog to avoid either is through vaccines.

Parvovirus and Distemper can both spread through bodily fluids and secretions. Therefore, it’s essential that your dog has all the vaccinations done before letting them around other dogs in a daycare or boarding facility.

Distemper virus can also spread through the air in the form of aerosol droplets. However, unlike Parvo, Distemper can’t live long outside and can be killed by household disinfectants.


The Dog Stop - Distemper vs. Parvo image