The next topic I want to touch is Parvovirus. It is very import to me that I educate all of my buyers on the dangers of the Parvovirus. After all, Rottweilers are more susceptible to Parvovirus than any other breed. If your family has decided to purchase a Rottweiler, you need to understand how the Parvovirus is contracted and spread.
So, how can your puppy catch Parvovirus? Unfortunately, way to easily! If you walk on infected grounds, you can track the Parvovirus back to your home property from the bottom of your shoe soles. Yes, it is that easy to spread. If you were at the vet and you decided to pet this sad looking dog because he looked in pain, and he had Parvovirus, then went back and touched your pet… you just spread the Parvovirus.
This is what makes the Parvovirus so scary. It is spread way to easily! On top of that, there is no cure! There is also no chemical that kills Parvovirus 100%. Once Parvovirus is on your property, it can live in the ground for 7 years! Even the coldest of winters and the hottest of summers won’t kill the Parvovirus. Now, I am not writing this to scare you; knowledge is power.
So, how do you know if you puppy has Parvo? Once the parvovirus is contracted, your pup may continue to look and act perfectly fine for up to ten days. After that, your pup will just suddenly stop eating one day. On top of that, he will also stop drinking water. He will look exhausted and sluggish. He will be very lethargic and just want to sleep. You might think to yourself, he just has a stomach bug, I should just let him sleep to get better. The next morning, your pup does not eat again. Now you are getting concerned. Very much unlike your puppy, he suddenly blows up the foulest smelling diarrhea all over himself in the house. It seems as if his insides are just pouring out. You see blood, and now your only concern is rushing him to the emergency. You explain to the doctors that your puppy had not eaten all yesterday and you knew he wasn’t acting like himself. You tell them that he is doing the same thing today, and now he won’t get up and he is relieving fluids all over himself. They take him back and exam him. Your puppy is confirmed positive for the Parvovirus. You assume since you caught it pretty fast, just one day after symptoms started, that the vet can fix your puppy. Unfortunately, it is usually too late. Your pup has been infected for nearly two weeks. The physical signs were the last of the symptoms, and a Rottweiler can pass as soon as 24-48 hours after symptoms begin, especially a puppy or youth. Parvovirus is a very, very disgusting and awful disease.
So how can you protect your new puppy from Parvo? Begin by making sure your puppy gets his full set of puppy vaccines the first year of their life. Without the Parvo antibodies, you are setting your puppy up for failure. Even after starting vaccines, a Rottweiler can still contract the Parvovirus, but the chances of survival are higher. Finish the vaccine rounds people. We actually do our vaccines different than other breeders because of this very disease.
Another way to help protect your new puppy is by keeping them home when you first receive your puppy. I know you are eager to show your new puppy off to the whole world, but you should wait a few more weeks. Give your puppy a few more weeks to be fully protected before you let him enter the big scary jungle. Instead, enjoy this baby stage when your puppy is tiny and loves to be held and cuddle because after two weeks, they will double in size. There is plenty of time to bring your pooch to the park, PetSmart, and the homes of friends and family.
Another suggestion I always tell my customers is to carry their puppy those first few weeks if you have to go somewhere. For example, you will have to bring your pup to the vet to continue his puppy vaccines every few weeks. Instead of letting him walk into the vet, carry him into the vet. Remember, animals mostly go to the vet when they are sick. You do not want to expose your puppy to any unnecessary threats those first few weeks, when your pup is most susceptible. Most sickness or injury can be avoided with common sense.
Another note to remember is you don’t know who is at the vet, and for what reason. Everyone loves a puppy and you will easily get a crowd waiting to pet your new baby when you sit in the lobby. If you are a person who might shy away from speaking up, or might feel pressured to allow everyone to touch, bring your puppy in a small plastic carrier. This will be any easy way to make your puppy inaccessible to others and protected from the ground and surroundings; and you won’t feel bad asking someone not to pet your puppy. After your puppy is fully protected, they can touch away – great socialization!
Last, you have learned how to keep your puppy protected from others but let’s not forget how to keep your puppy protected at your own home. If you have an open backyard that other animals may pass through, you want to be sure to make a small and secure area only for your puppy. Remember, other animals can spread the disease, especially animals who are roaming all over town. By having a small area that you can supervise, it will keep your puppy from wandering too far and limit the possibility of touching infected grounds before he is fully vaccinated.
True story- A few months ago, on a Friday afternoon, one of our DKV customers left a message for my husband Angel explaining his six month old male, named Troy, was not acting normal. The customer describes all the symptoms in his voicemail and said he just wanted some advice on what to do. He also said that he was currently at work and he would not get home until the evening. He said if Troy was not feeling better by then, he would bring him into the vet on Monday. Remember, this happened on a Friday. When Angel heard this detailed message, he quickly realized that this sounded a lot like Parvo and Troy would not last until Monday. My husband urged our customer to get Troy to his veterinarian immediately, while it was still early. Our customer did just that, leaving work immediately. The vet confirmed that Troy had the Parvovirus and Troy was sent home with a bunch of supplies. If you are unaware, vets can charge an arm and leg to treat Parvo in house. I have heard of prices from a few hundred, to as high as $1500 per day, for Parvo treatment from vets. This is ludicrous and out of reach for many families. My husband kept in contact with our customer and gave an outline on how to treat Troy at home. Our customer was a real trooper. He followed every tip, gave every treatment himself, and day by day, Troy was getting better. After a long 10 days, Troy was back to life and super grateful to his human! I shared this story because I want people to understand that purchasing a puppy from a breeder who really loves the breed, and who is educated about the breed, is very important. I give Kudos to our customer, and to my husband Angel, for having the trust in each other to bring Troy back to health. I just remember the stress and worry of that situation and I just love sharing the result of true dedication to your Rottweiler.
(For liability purposes, we are not medical professionals. We do not claim to know how to treat diseases. If a customer is put in a situation where there is no further medical treatment available for whatever reason, we will do our best to give advice. However, we make no promises since we are not medical professionals.) Sorry y’all, but it is what it is… Now, back to our article…
If your puppy ever does contract the Parvovirus, be sure to seek medical attention immediately! I understand first time dog owners may not be sure when to seek medical attention because of their lack of experience. If you are a customer of DKV Rottweilers, please know that we offer breeder support for life. If at any time you have a question or concern, do not hesitate to contact us. There are no dumb questions. The only dumb thing you can do, is not ask.
~ Written by Liz Gutierrez