Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Parvovirus is Most Deadly to Very Young Shih Tzu Puppies

Parvovirus is most deadly to Very Young Shih Tzu Puppies
by Connie Limon (Email:
Connie Limon Parvovirus is most deadly to Very Young Shih Tzu Puppies

I am so surprised at how many pet owners and would be pet/Shih Tzu owners do not know which vaccinations are mandatory for Shih Tzu puppies. In this article I will address only the importance of "extra" protection against the deadly canine disease of "parvovirus."

Canine parvovirus is everywhere in the environment. Puppies and this does include Shih Tzu puppies are extra susceptible to parvovirus. The disease usually hits puppies the hardest, although adults can contract the parvovirus disease the same, your Shih Tzu puppy is most vulnerable. It is wise to protect your Shih Tzu puppy against this debilitating, sometimes deadly canine disease.

Parvovirus is shed in the feces of an infected Shih Tzu or any canine species. If another Shih Tzu or any other canine species comes into oral contact with the infected feces, they become inoculated with the virus. The degree to which your Shih Tzu puppy is affected will depend upon its own individual immunity to the disease. If your Shih Tzu puppy's mother was properly vaccinated, she will transfer immunity to parvovirus in the colostrums or first milk. I always vaccinate all my adult Shih Tzu each year.

The maternal antibodies transferred through the Shih Tzu mother's milk to the Shih Tzu puppies may be present in the Shih Tzu puppy for up to 20 - 22 weeks. This does not mean the Shih Tzu puppy will be absolute immune to the parvovirus this entire time.

Most of the Shih Tzu puppy's maternal antibodies to other viruses commonly vaccinated against have disappeared by about 12 weeks, however, the maternal parvovirus antibodies do persist longer.

It is wise to ensure your Shih Tzu puppy is adequately protected against parvovirus no matter when its mother's antibodies begin to wear off. Your Shih Tzu puppy needs to be vaccinated every three weeks starting at about 8 weeks, until it is 20 - 22 weeks old. Keep your older Shih Tzu up-to-date on vaccines as well. As the Shih Tzu ages, or any canine species, their immune system may become impaired and this may leave them more susceptible to diseases.

In addition to proper vaccination of your Shih Tzu puppy, you also need to keep young Shih Tzu puppies isolated from other dogs and out of parks where they may come in contact with infected feces, until they have completed their series of vaccinations. This decreases their chances of being exposed to parvovirus.

Parvovirus Signs:

* Loss of appetite * Lack of energy * Vomiting or diarrhea (the vomitus or diarrhea may be bloody).

Since these signs can indicate many diseases, you will need to see your vet if your Shih Tzu puppy shows any of these. Young Shih Tzu puppies, less than three months of age, can become dehydrated quickly, and die easily if not treated promptly. There is a special test your vet can perform for the parvovirus.

As of this date, there is no drug available that kills parvovirus once the animal is infected. The Shih Tzu or any other canine animal will have to rid itself of the virus. In other words, once a Shih Tzu puppy has contracted parvovirus, the virus will need to runs it course through the Shih Tzu puppy's system. Supportive care is the main treatment of parvovirus infections.

Sick Shih Tzu puppies need to be given fluids if they are dehydrated. Secondary bacterial infections may also result. If an infection develops, antibiotics need to be administered to fight it. Sometimes it is necessary to be kept in a vet hospital setting throughout the course of the disease. Other times, the disease can be managed at home. It depends upon the severity and the recommendations of your vet.

Treatment for parvovirus may take a couple days up to several weeks. This also depends upon the individual animal's immune system, its age and the severity of the case.

It is highly important to clean up the living quarters of a Shih Tzu who has had parvovirus. Parvovirus can exist in the environment for long periods of time. Washing the Shih Tzu's area with bleach and water in a 1:30 dilution will kill the virus. Throw away all feeding and drinking bowls, and all toys that came in contact with the sick Shih Tzu. Bedding can be saved if you will wash it in the bleach solution, but better to just throw it all away to prevent further spread of the infection. Your Shih Tzu can be re-infected as well.

Discard all feces promptly, wear gloves and rinse your own hands with the bleach solution. Humans can spread the disease on their hands if they touch the feces. Very small amounts of fecal material on the Shih Tzu's coat can contain large numbers of viral organisms and can easily be transmitted to other dogs.

Although there are a number of diseases Shih Tzu puppies and other canine breeds are susceptible to acquiring, the parvovirus is the most deadly to very young Shih Tzu puppies. Take all precautions necessary to keep your Shih Tzu puppy safe from this disease.

Author: Connie Limon, Breeder of pet and show Shih Tzu prospects in a variety of colors. Visit us at and sign up for our FREE newsletters. Puppies are sold with health guarantee and are bred from champion bloodlines. Also visit our collection of Shih Tzu articles at

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.


Lovely Pangilinan said...

My shih tzu is 6 months old.. Her stool has some blood and she vomit everytime we travel.but yesterday she vomiit a yellowish color liquid in my room it happen only once. She was hospitalized today,the vet says she will update me tom for d result.. My pet is still active she run and played with me even she has diarhea.. Is it possible it was a parvovirus?im really worried 😭😭😭

Rebecca Renthlei said...

Good article my shitzu 2 months old is suffering from parvo 1 day post vacination , i pray to God that she may survive , its so sad to see her eliminating dark red feaces, and being probed with needle evryday.

Unknown said...

My little 7 month ShihTzu has been hospitalized for 3 days now. It's all I can do to put two feet on the floor each day without her. I call to get updates regularly and each time it's something different.

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