A Decade of Treatment of Canine Parvovirus in an Animal Shelter: A Retrospective Study
Research Department, Austin Pets Alive!, Austin, TX 78703, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 April 2020
Revised: 22 May 2020
Accepted: 24 May 2020
Published: 29 May 2020
The canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious gastrointestinal disease which affects unvaccinated, insufficiently vaccinated, or improperly vaccinated dogs and results in a fatality rate greater than 90% if left untreated. Treatment in private practice settings can often cost several thousand dollars, making it an unaffordable option for many pet owners as well as a challenging population to treat for shelters. Here, we examine 11.5 years of data from Austin Pets Alive!, a private animal shelter in Austin, TX, which has treated 5127 dogs infected with CPV since 2008. We show an 86.6% (n = 4438/5127) survival rate, with the most critical period of treatment during the first five days of care, and detail the protocols used to achieve this high proportion of successful treatment outcomes. A CPV season was observed peaking in May and June and accounting for as much as a 41 animal/month increase compared to low periods in August, September, December, and January. Low-weight animals and male animals were found to be at higher risk for mortality. Together, these results aim to assist shelters in creating programs to treat this disease and to inspire future research into improving practices in treatment and prevention.