Parvovirus outbreak threatens dogs in Iowa

The news

An outbreak of parvovirus at a local animal shelter has led to a temporary closure of the parts of the shelter that house dogs. The Heartland Humane Society reports that one dog has died and others are being treated.

Serena Burton, the shelter’s Vice President, explained the comprehensive precautions the shelter is taking to keep the virus from spreading. She also cautioned area pet owners to ensure that their dogs are vaccinated against the deadly disease.

IDEXX insight

Canine parvovirus 2 (CPV-2) is a highly contagious and life-threatening disease. Puppies and dogs may present with sudden onset of lethargy, vomiting, fever, and bloody diarrhea. Effective vaccines are available, however puppies under 12-16 weeks of age may have maternal antibodies that block the vaccine’s action leaving them vulnerable to infection. Early and definitive identification allows for timely management and treatment and helps to prevent the spread of this dangerous disease.

Is your practice prepared should there be an increase in canine parvovirus in your area? In a recent study, the SNAP® Parvo Test did not produce a positive result in dogs recently vaccinated with modified live vaccines1 so you can have confidence in the accuracy of your diagnosis. Keep the SNAP® Parvo Test in-stock so that you’re prepared and remind your clients to stay current with their vaccinations.

Dogs with clinical signs of hemorrhagic diarrhea that test negative for canine parvovirus by the SNAP Parvo Test can be tested for additional causes of bloody diarrhea using the Canine Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)/Bloody Diarrhea RealPCR™ Panel, test code 3759, at the IDEXX Reference Laboratory. This panel includes the newly discovered Clostridium perfringens CPnetE/F toxin gene test which is associated with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE)2, as well as RealPCR™ tests for five other pathogens that may cause bloody diarrhea.


1 Schultz RD, Larson LJ, Lorentzen LP. Effects of modified live canine parvovirus vaccine on the SNAP ELISA antigen assay. J Vet Emerg Crit Care. 2008;18(4):415

2Gohari IM, Parreira VR, Nowell VJ, Nicholson VM, Oliphant K, Prescott JF (2015) A Novel Pore-Forming Toxin in Type A Clostridium perfringens Is Associated with Both Fatal Canine Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis and Fatal Foal Necrotizing Enterocolitis. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0122684. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.012268

Alexis Seguin, DVM, MS, DACVIM

posted by Alexis Seguin, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Seguin attended Cornell University as an undergraduate and then obtained her master’s degree and DVM at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1996 and 1998, respectively. She completed a rotating, small-animal medicine and surgery internship at North Carolina State University, followed by a 3-year residency in small-animal internal medicine at the University of Florida. She became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2002. She spent 2 years in private specialty practice, first in Mesa, Arizona, and then in Wisconsin. She joined IDEXX Laboratories as an Internal Medicine Consultant in 2004, and transitioned to the Medical Affairs team in 2015. Dr. Seguin lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, two kids, three fish, a cardigan Welsh corgi, guinea pig, and two horses. She hopes to soon complete her family with the addition of a flock of chickens and guinea hens. Some of her favorite medical topics include infectious diseases, endocrinology, and immune-mediated diseases. Outside of work, she enjoys natural horsemanship, trail-riding, gardening, hiking/camping, and bird-watching.

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