Almost every mammal species (including humans) seems to have its own Parvovirus. The Canine Parvovirus is highly contagious, can live in the environment for years, and can cause life-threatening issues.
While parvoviruses have been around for a very long time, the Canine parvovirus is a relative newcomer. However, it has already mutated several times and each time seems even more detrimental to our pets.
- 1967: The original Canine Parvovirus (CPV-1) was discovered
- 1978: A new mutation, CPV-2 appeared in the U.S.
Because CPV-2 was (and is) potentially spread in gigantic numbers by infected animals, and because this virus is extremely hardy, and is considered to be ubiquitous, which in this case means “present in EVERY ENVIRONMENT unless regular disinfection is applied.”
No dog had any sort of immunity against CPV-2 and the epidemic was disastrous
- 1978: A second mutation, CPV-2a, was identified, and it seemed to be even more aggressive
- 2000: A new particularly virulent strain of parvovirus, CPV-2c, was discovered and is able to infect cats.
Outbreaks of canine parvovirus associated with CPV-2c in the United States were confirmed in 2006 and 2007 and most recently in New Jersey.
Parvo 2c is a highly virulent strain of the parvo virus that is extremely fatal in puppies and adult dogs. This strain of parvo attacks the circulatory organs approximately 24 hours before attacking the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, by the time a dog is presented for lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea it is generally too late.
For more specific information about the newest strain, Canine Parvovirus-2c, see the American Veterinary Medical Association’s FAQs