Updated on 19 October, 2021
Parvo is a viral disease that is spreading at an alarming rate all over the world, leaving thousands of dogs and cats dead. It is a highly aggressive strain of distemper that has recently swept the nation, and it is responsible for the death of so many innocent pets. It was initially developed in Australia, but has since become endemic to many countries across the world. What makes this disease so threatening is that it has a "tying-up" effect on the immune system, so once your pet becomes infected it can take up to 6 weeks before the symptoms become apparent. The time it takes to notice the effects of Parvo can be critical, as it will gradually start to drop your dog or cat's energy, cause fatigue and tiredness, and can even lead to death.
So how do you know if your dog or cat has been infected with Parvo? The most reliable way to diagnose if a dog or cat has contracted the virus is by doing a Parvo Snap Test. This is a simple and painless test that can instantly identify whether your dog or cat has contracted the highly effective modified live virus. It works by exposing the animal to a small amount of the virus, and seeing if the results show a high fever, lethargy, excessive licking and tear, and vomiting and diarrhea. If any of these symptoms present themselves, then your dog or cat could be infected.
However, there are a few problems with this test, and one of them is that it doesn't detect the highest amounts of virus, which means that negative results may occur. It also doesn't look for higher than normal quantities of the vaccine strain. This is why it isn't as effective as a means of determining if your dog or cat has been infected; it only looks for the highest levels of infection. That is why researchers have been looking for ways to develop a highly accurate parvo snap test, and they have succeeded!
Recent tests have shown that the modified S. mutans bacteria has been found in more than 10% of puppies and kittens that were up to six weeks old when the outbreak was occurring. They did not find Campylobacter in any of the other dogs or cats in their study. While it may not be at the same level as E. coli, which is responsible for causing severe diarrhea and dehydration in humans, it is still a problem. It is still important to prevent Parvo from spreading to campylobacter once your pet has contracted it.
Parvo is a highly contagious viral disease, so kittens and puppies that contract it must be quarantined immediately to prevent the infection from spreading to susceptible humans. Because of this, the entire household needs to be quarantined if the owners decide to use the Parvo Snap Test. This includes all four litter box trays, as well as any other closed areas containing animals. Even animals in other parts of the house such as the fenced yard or an outdoor cat enclosure need to be quarantined, and all potentially infected cats and dogs need to be disinfected through the use of a medicated spray. Anyone with an exposed cat or dog should avoid having unprotected sex, and should cover unclothed pets to avoid spreading the disease.
Parvo is highly contagious - the germs it spreads can remain dormant for up to two days after exposure without the ability to circulate through the air. It is possible for the virus to spread from one individual to another, though most outbreaks only last one to two days on average. The exact reasons why the virus remains dormant are not yet known, but it is believed that the virus is unable to reproduce because the immune system is not activated. Since the symptoms of parvo tend to appear months before the actual disease, it makes it impossible to tell if the pet is actually suffering from the illness, or if the symptoms are the result of another disorder.
Due to the fact that Parvo is highly contagious, there is a much higher occurrence of Parvo related illnesses in shelters for cats than there would be in the wild. Because the infection is so easily spread, it is especially important that anyone adopting an outdoor cat know how to check their pets for Parvo and be sure that it is not contracted by other cats. A simple way to check the cat's fur to see if it is covered in the telltale marring caused by the parasite is to take a small sample of the animals' blood and rub it against a small cotton ball. If the sample reveals a high level of contamination, then the cat is likely suffering from Parvo.
One of the best ways to protect kittens from contracting the virus is to get them vaccinated once they have reached four months of age. However, since getting vaccinated too soon can be detrimental, it is important that vets administer the vaccinations as close to the kitten's final birth date as possible, so that the kitten receives as many doses of the vaccine as possible, guaranteeing her against the full-term protection of the disease. Kittens will also need booster shots at six and twelve months of age, according to the kitten's final vaccination month. It is not uncommon for puppies to contract Parvo as well, but since puppies do not usually develop the acute symptoms of the disease as adults do, the chances of puppies contracting Parvo are slim. Anyone adopting a puppy or kitten should take a look at the puppy's skin and its ears and pay special attention if any of these areas show signs of the Parvo virus. If you suspect that your new kitten might be suffering from Parvo, contact your vet as soon as possible.