Parvo Shots for Puppies

Parvo shots help prevent your puppy from contracting the parvovirus, which is a virus responsible for death in a large number of puppies. The parvo shots help the puppy strengthen the immune system, which reacts to the virus and so the dog won’t be developing the disease. The shots have to be administered on a schedule, so it is important to contact your veterinarian as soon as you get a puppy.

Remember that during the first 1to 4 16 weeks of life, the puppy has to undergo a series of vaccinations, for parvo as well as for several other serious diseases. 

Parvo in Puppies

Parvo is a highly contagious and dangerous disease. It can be easily transmitted from dog to dog through feces and vomit.

The parvovirus is very resistant and can survive in the environment for up to 6 weeks. Humans can also become carriers for the parvovirus, although they are not affected by it. The parvovirus affects the dog’s bone marrow, the lymphatic nodes, the gastrointestinal tract and the heart. The disease can develop either into a cardiac or an enteric form.

Parvo Shots for Puppies

In order to prevent catching the parvovirus, it is best to schedule your puppy for vaccination. The parvo vaccine works by inserting live viruses that are very weak into the puppy’s body to stimulate the immune system. The viruses in the vaccine have been modified and rendered incapable of causing the disease.

The first parvo shot does not complete immunization. It only functions as preparation for the immune system. The vaccine has to be repeated in order to train the immune system, making it resistant to the parvovirus.

The vaccine has to be stored in special conditions, since it is very delicate.

Therefore, it is recommended to take your dog to the veterinarian and get the shot there, rather that you administering an over the counter vaccine.

The parvo shots may also come in combination vaccines, which may also work against hepatitis and distemper.

Parvo Shots Schedule

Each veterinarian might have their own vaccination schedule, but most common parvovirus vaccination is scheduled when the puppy is 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

When the puppy is born, he has antibodies from his mother and these antibodies protect him from several diseases, including the parvovirus, until he is about 8 weeks old. Therefore, parvo vaccination before that age is useless because the vaccine will fail in preparing the immune system fight against the virus; however, the vaccine will harm the puppy if administered earlier.

It is highly important that the puppy completes the entire series of parvo shots.

High Risk Breeds

There are breeds which present a higher risk of infestation with the parvovirus such as Rottweilers and Dobermans. These breeds require more vaccines than others, because their body does not become completely immune to the virus with a regular vaccination schedule. Therefore, another vaccination is necessary when the puppy is 20 weeks old.