Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation:
> In your kennel, all your bitches are properly vaccinated against parvo (remember, this is still the best way to protect our dogs against it).
> You use the right cleaning & disinfecting protocol. You are on top of things on sanitation measures and foot traffic in your kennel.
> You have a huge wall surrounding your kennel preventing any life form to get close.
> You do not go out and you do not allow anyone in.
Ok, I agree, pretty hard to achieve, but let say you can do it.
What if I tell you that, despite that, you could still end up with parvo infection in your puppies?
Scary, right ? However, that is a reality. And I believe you need to know about it.
This is what was discussed in the abstract above. They wanted to determine whether vaccinated dams could excrete CPV2 from mating to the end of lactation and so be a potential source of infection in breeding kennels.
I’ll skip you the details: the answer is YES. Bitches were found to have high viral loads in their feces during lactation. And the later they were in their lactation, the higher the viral excretion!
In this study none of those bitches develop any clinical signs of parvo (certainly because they were properly vaccinated) but the fact is that they were actively spreading the virus, clearly indicating that vaccinated dams may contribute to parvo circulation in kennels.
On a positive note, they also followed the puppies of these dams. And at a certain point, 76% of those puppies were also shedding the virus. The good news is however that only 14% of those puppies experienced diarrhea, most of them remained asymptomatic. And the overall mortality in those puppies was only 3%. Those puppies might have certainly been protected by the immunity they received at birth via the colostrum of their mom.
Take-away: Parvo MUST always be considered as a risk in breeding kennels, especially for puppies at weaning. Previous studies have already demonstrated that parvo circulation does not always cause the severe hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome we all fear, but can still cause mild diarrhea in puppies (read this blog here for more info).
It is therefore always important to stay on top of things when it comes to sanitary prevention of the disease: sanitation procedures with the right disinfectant of the maternity / nursery will be of the utmost importance, even if you do not allow anybody from outside in your kennel during this period.
So in your dog breeder’s toolkit you definitely need whatever is required to keep a good sanitation protocol against parvo.
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