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Canine Parvovirus in District

In the last couple of weeks, two rural properties in our area have recorded cases of Canine Parvovirus (Parvo).

Parvo is a particularly nasty virus that affects the gut and bone marrow of affected dogs and can be fatal. It lasts a long time in the environment – months, and only certain disinfectants kill it when cleaning out kennels (we use Sterigene, Vircon or bleach).

Dogs become infected by ingesting virus shed from an infected dog where there is contamination with faecal material. The toughness of the virus means that sometimes it can travel between properties on boots or other gear. Some infected dogs may survive parvo but remain virus shedders which can cause future problems.

The main consistent sign of Parvo infection to look for is a lethargic dog, usually an unvaccinated pup, vomiting is another common sign and often they will go on to develop diarrhoea classically with blood in it.


Parvo vaccine is an extremely effective preventative. Most pups receive up to three pup shots starting from six weeks of age, a yearly booster, then adults are done every three years. There is a two week window from when a pup is vaccinated until antibodies are being made to offer some protection, this means if bringing new pups on farm, or if selling them off farm make sure they have had a first vaccination two weeks before going to a new home.


About the author

North Canterbury Vets are a mixed practice which deals with dairy cows, beef, sheep, deer, horses and alpacas as well as companion animals. Our team has an ethical focus to assist in developing and growing our clients' businesses and providing quality health care to ensure that their livestock and pets live healthy and productive lives.

Our Clinics

North Canterbury Veterinary Clinics operates four clinics throughout the Hurunui region.