Chagrin Falls, Ohio; September 25, 2008. Canine Parvovirus is a serious, viral disease that is often deadly for dogs. Parvo causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and can be especially devastating to puppies. Canine Parvovirus arrived in the US in the late 1970s causing great concern among dog breeders, dog showers, veterinarians and all pet owners. Fortunately, development of effective vaccines helped check the spread of parvo. Today, parvo is still a concern among specific breeds of dogs, especially Rottweiler’s, Dobermans and Pit Bulls, as well as young dogs, and dogs who are not vaccinated. The original strain of parvo virus that arrived in the 1970’s is known as CPV-2b. Recently, Internet rumors have started circulating describing a new strain of parvo known as CPV-2c.
New strains of most viruses occur regularly due to mutations in the genetic code. It is not surprising that a new strain of canine parvovirus has been found. Many Internet sites, chat rooms, and pet blogs have been buzzing with this knowledge, claiming that the new strain is deadlier than the older strain. All research to date shows that dogs who have been vaccinated with current vaccines are still protected against this newer strain of parvo.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that the new strain (2c) is more virulent, harder to kill (more resistant to disinfectants) or more difficult to diagnose. Variant strain 2c will show a positive reaction on commercially available test kits at your veterinarian’s office.
Canine parvovirus will continue to evolve, as all viruses do. But, at this time, there does not appear to be a threat above what we would normally expect from this disease. Canine parvovirus is a disease that dog owners should take seriously. Follow your veterinarian’s vaccination guidelines to help protect your pet.