Canine Parvovirus

Disease Overview

Canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) is highly contagious and attacks the gastrointestinal tract of puppies and dogs. There are 3 variants of the virus, CPV-2a, CPV-2b, and CPV-2c. CPV-2 is one of the most common infectious diseases of dogs. Death can occur as early as 2 days after the onset of illness.20

Merck Animal Health Solutions

For Canine Parvovirus


CPV-2 is transmitted by direct contact and contact with contaminated feces, environments, or people. CPV-2 is one of the most resistant viruses to infect dogs and can remain viable in the environment for extended periods of time. The virus spreads through contaminated surfaces, food and water bowls, collars, leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who touch a CPV-2–infected dog.20

Clinical Signs

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Severe, and often bloody, diarrhea

Risk Factors

  • Young dogs
  • Dogs that come from shelters, rescue centers, breeding kennels, or pet stores
  • Boarding at a kennel or doggie daycare
  • Visiting groomers, dog parks, or engaging with other dogs on a daily basis
  • Dogs that live in multiple pet homes


20. McCaw D, Hoskins J. Canine viral enteritis. In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier; 2006:63–73.