This University Honors Thesis combines my cutting edge research on canine parvovirus and how to refine professional practice for optimal prevention. Canine parvovirus is a highly transmissible virus that infects the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and spreads through secretions of infected animals or fomites. Puppies younger than four months and unvaccinated adult dogs are most susceptible to the virus. There is no cure for the illness, and treatment usually centers on rehydrating the animal and maintaining good hygiene. Once the disease has been contracted, survival is not guaranteed; mortality associated with infection is between 16 and 48 percent (Cahn and Line 2005). However, a vaccine for the virus is widely available and extremely effective when given as a series of three shots beginning around 6 weeks of age and ending at 16 weeks of age, given at 3-4 week intervals (Baker Institute 2014). Canine parvovirus is one of the most common diseases diagnosed in puppies in the veterinary field. In order to show the significance parvovirus has in the veterinary community, I will be discussing the history and morphology of the virus, the importance of the vaccine and its administration, my personal experience dealing with cases of parvovirus in the workplace, and ways in which I have pushed to educate the public regarding the virus. I will accomplish this final task by discussing three specific clients whose puppies were treated for parvovirus at the facility I work for.
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