Welcome to Ozark Veterinary Clinic
We are so pleased you have selected our veterinary practice to serve you and your pet today! We know your choice of a veterinary clinic goes beyond your preference for convenience and location. It is about developing a human-animal bond. Through a strong veterinary-client patient relationship, we strive to optimize your pet’s health and longevity. At Ozark Veterinary Clinic, our vision is to “provide quality veterinary medical care to our patients and their families in a compassionate, caring atmosphere”. We strive to go above and beyond your expectations to provide quality medical care in a professional, friendly, and accessible environment.
What brings you to the veterinary office today? “Fleas!” We hear this all too often. Clients say, “I just need one more dose before winter.” We warn them that the fleas lay eggs and they hatch in the house when the heat is on during the winter months. So, by spring if you did not use any prevention, you may have a huge problem. Fall is typically the worst flea season as the wildlife is running around getting ready for winter. They drop the flea eggs, then they hatch and the fleas get on your pets. If the unprotected pets come into the house, the cycle starts in the house. People can also pick up fleas on their clothes and bring them into the house and as we hear many times, “ I use flea prevention on my dog, the cat brought the fleas into the house.” In order to prevent a flea infestation, all pets must be treated with monthly flea prevention. Only 5% of the fleas are on your pet, the other 95% comes from the environment. Small pets can be overwhelmed by a flea infestation. It can cause anemia and if bad enough, even death. Unfortunately we have seen it happen. Clients did not realize their pets had fleas. When pets groom themselves, they can ingest a flea egg or a flea. This causes tapeworms. Yet another cost that can be incurred due to fleas. Be safe use prevention year round. Check with us for specials on flea and tick products or browse our website. Many clients have found that we offer better pricing than online pharmacies. In addition, a number of our vendors offer specials such as rebates and free products – a value we can pass on to you that online pharmacies cannot.
We have been seeing a number of cases of parvovirus enteritis recently. Because of this, we felt it would be helpful to post information to help alleviate concerns and also as a reminder that even with the widespread use of vaccinations, parvovirus is still a common disease.
What is parvo? Parvovirus enteritis, commonly referred to as parvo, is a viral infection. The canine parvovirus will affect most members of the dog family including wolves, coyotes, and foxes. This virus infects rapidly dividing cells in the body such as intestinal cells, bone marrow cells, and cells of the lymph system. It is a very hardy virus and is considered to be in EVERY ENVIRONMENT, unless regular disinfection is used.
Who is at risk? Puppies and young dogs (<1 year of age) are at the highest risk of contracting parvo. This is because they do not have enough antibodies (or immunity against the virus) to fight off the infection. They do receive some protection from the antibodies they ingest while nursing from their mother, but these antibodies wear off sometime in the first 4 months of the puppy’s life.
How does a puppy get parvo? A parvo infection can be picked up ANYWHERE, although it is easier to pick up an infection in an area where an infected dog has been because of the larger amount of virus in the area. Infected dogs shed virus in their stool in gigantic amounts during the first 2 weeks following exposure. A puppy gets parvo by ingesting the virus, either as it cleans itself or eats food off the ground or floor. A miniscule amount of infected stool is all it takes. There is a 3-7 day incubation period before the puppy seems obviously ill. Whether an individual dog gets infected depends on the number of viral particles the dog experiences, what kind of immune experience the dog has (Vaccinated? Previous infected? Past exposure?), and how healthy the individual dog is.
What are the symptoms of parvo? Because it affects rapidly dividing cells, the GI tract is where most symptoms originate. The virus infects the cells of the intestine so that new cells are not able to be produced. This results in loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The diarrhea often becomes bloody and bacteria can enter the body causing widespread infection. Affected dogs are often very depressed, dehydrated, and lethargic.
How is parvo diagnosed? A test can be performed on a fecal sample to determine whether or not a dog has parvo. The test checks for the presence of the virus in the stool. A fecal float will also likely be performed to check for intestinal parasites as this can cause similar symptoms. These tests are both done in clinic and take about 10 minutes.
Can parvo be treated? Since parvo is a virus, there is no specific antiviral treatment. Treatment of these dogs is largely supportive until their bodies can produce enough antibodies to inactivate the virus. Treatment includes hospitalization on IV fluids to maintain hydration and electrolyte levels, medications for nausea, and antibiotics to help prevent secondary infection that can occur from the loss of the intestinal barrier. With proper hospitalization, survival rates approach 80%. However, even with aggressive treatment puppies still die from parvo. The cost for treating a puppy with parvo will vary depending on the length of hospitalization but can easily be hundreds of dollars. Although home care can be attempted, survival rates are greatly decreased.
How can I prevent my puppy from getting parvo? The most important thing you can do to prevent parvo is to get your puppy vaccinated. One vaccine is not enough. The immunity the puppies receive from their mother’s milk will inactivate the vaccine until the mother’s antibody levels decrease and the puppy’s own immunity increases. This is why we recommend a series of vaccinations starting at 6 weeks of age and continuing every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is 14-16 weeks old. Depending on the age at which vaccines are started and how frequently they are given, a puppy may receive 3-4 vaccinations in this time frame. The number of vaccines has nothing to do with protection. In order for protection to be achieved, vaccine must be given when it can penetrate maternal antibody!! Again because the virus is everywhere, we also recommend that puppies be restricted from outdoor public areas until their vaccination series is completed.
How can I disinfect where a parvo puppy has been? Again this virus is very hardy in the environment. It is able to survive freezing temperatures in the ground during the winter and many disinfectants are not capable of killing it indoors. Indoors, the virus loses its infectivity with one month. Outdoors shaded areas should be considered contaminated for 7 months and areas with good sunlight exposure should be considered contaminated for 5 months. The best and most effective disinfectant against parvovirus is BLEACH. One part bleach is mixed with 30 parts water and applied to bowls, floors, surfaces, bedding, toys, and anything contaminated that is colorfast or which color changes are not important. At least 10 minutes of contact time with the bleach solution is needed to kill the virus.