"Parvovirus" is a word guaranteed to remove the smile from the face of any dog owner. There are several strains of "parvo," all of which are lumped together and produce the same symptoms. The virus is the single most contagious of all diseases that strike dogs, and it is spread in multiple ways. The virus can survive for five months and longer on hands and on inanimate objects like food pans, cage floors and clothing. It is also readily transferred by insects, rodents and through infected feces. All strains of parvovirus are hardy, able to survive exposure to heat and other harsh environmental conditions. [...]
Once your puppy is through the series of three puppy vaccinations and boosters it is absolutely critical to keep vaccinations up to date and current at all times. Many owners think that the puppy vaccinations provide permanent safety for the dog, but this is completely false. Dogs need yearly vaccinations for many conditions and other vaccinations at longer or shorter periods depending on the particular condition as well as the environment that the dog is going into.
Some dog owners stop vaccinating their dogs because the owners believe that their dogs are not exposed on a regular basis to other dogs. Unfortunately all it takes is drinking from another dog's water, being in the presence of a dog when it sneezes, or of course getting into a fight or even playing with another dog and breaking the skin or ingesting the other dogs body fluids to contract some of these diseases. [...]