During this time of year, we almost always have at least one hospitalized case of parvovirus. Parvovirus is a very serious disease of the intestines. For all intents and purposes, the virus strips the lining from the intestines and makes it impossible for the dog to absorb any nutrients. This leads to dehydration, and starvation. Without intensive treatment the prognosis is very poor.
Fortunately, the disease is usually very easy to prevent with vaccination. Currently parvovirus is the most important vaccine given to puppies. The vaccine should be given as early as 6 weeks old and then at regular intervals, until the puppy is 18-20 weeks old. At Satilla Animal Hospital we vaccinate every 2 weeks from 6 weeks until 18 or 20 weeks of age.
ONE VACCINE DOES NOT PROTECT YOUR PUPPY!
When a puppy is born it receives some protection from its mother. This protection only lasts for a certain amount of time, and this time is different for every puppy. The protection from a mother is essential for the puppy's survival early on. However, this same protection makes any vaccine given during this time unsuccessful. Keep in mind this time is different for all puppies. This is why the series is so important. If a puppy only receives one vaccine and it is given while maternal antibodies are high, that puppy could still get parvo, once those maternal antibodies decrease. The puppy needs to receive vaccines after it develops its own immunity. Since we can not guess exactly when the maternal protection will go away, and the puppy develops its own, we have to vaccinate regularly until we KNOW the puppy should have an adequate immune system (usually 18-20 weeks).
Anyone who has ever owned, cared for, or treated a parvo puppy, knows how sad the disease process can be. Even if the puppy is lucky enough to survive, the suffering is immense.
Please vaccinate your puppies and remember that "booster" shots are as important and sometimes more important than the initial vaccine. If you have any questions about parvovirus, maternal antibodies or vaccination please ask your veterinarian. As always you can contact us with any questions or concerns.
Monday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Thursday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
511 S City Blvd
Waycross, GA 31501
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