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Veterinary Public Health


Veterinary Public Health

Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 989-7060
Tel: (877) 747-2243
Fax (213) 481-2375
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Parvo in Dogs

What is parvo?
Canine parvovirus (parvo) is a virus (germ) that attacks the intestines and immune system of dogs. It is highly contagious between dogs and is often fatal to them. Every year, hundreds of dogs in Los Angeles (LA) County get sick and with canine parvo. You can protect your dog by getting them vaccinated.

Where is Parvo
in Los Angeles County?

Parvo in Dogs - Epidemiology Update
2015 - 1st quarter pdf icon     2nd quarterpdf icon

How many cases of Parvo are in dogs in LA County?
Every year, hundreds of cases of parvo are reported in dogs in Los Angeles County. Cases tend to increase in the spring and then again in the fall. LA County is one of the few places in the world where veterinarians must report cases of parvo in dogs.

How does parvo spread between dogs?
Dogs can catch parvo when they touch other dogs that have it or the ground where a sick dog has walked or defecated. A dog with parvo contaminates its environment with the virus. So dogs can also catch parvo from the bedding, toys, bowls, and even the yard of a dog that has parvo. The virus can live for months in an environment, including in public parks and dog parks. Puppies are most likely to catch it. Humans do NOT get sick from this virus.

What are the signs of parvo in dogs?
Parvo causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The diarrhea is usually severe and often bloody. Dog with parvo usually become very lethargic, dehydrated and have no appetite. Dogs can die from parvo. 

How can I protect my dog from parvo?
Get your dog vaccinated! Vaccination save dogs’ lives and saves money. It costs much less money to protect your dog with vaccinations than to treat your dog for parvo.

Especially Important for Puppies

Keep your puppy away
from other dogs and public parks
until after it has finished
the FULL series of puppy shots.

The DHLPP (or DHPP) vaccine protects your dog from parvo (It is one of the "Ps" in DHLPP). One shot is not enough! Keep your puppy away from public areas until it has finished the first series of shots. Allow your puppy to play only with a few healthy, vaccinated dogs in a yard where you know no sick dogs have been in the last year.

Where can I get vaccinations for my dog?

DHLPP Vaccination Schedule
for Dogs

PUPPIES Unvaccinated
Puppies should get this vaccine at age 2, 3, and 4 months of age, then again a year later. Adult dogs should get this vaccine twice (one month apart) then again a year later.
Booster shots: After their starting series, all dogs should get the DHLPP shot every 1-3 years for life.

Reporting Cases of Parvo in Dogs in LA County
Parvo in dogs is reportable in LA County.  Parvo in dogs is not transmissible to humans (zoonotic). However, cases help indicate areas of LA County with reduced access to, or utilization of, veterinary services.  As a result, the risk for exposure to zoonotic diseases is likely higher in such areas. Data on parvo in dogs indicate areas in LA County where outreach services involving animal health and zoonotic diseases are needed most.


Cases of parvo in dogs are reported by animal shelters, veterinary hospitals, and occasionally by the public. Cases are counted as either confirmed or suspected according to LA County's Case Definition for Parvo in Dogs.

How to Report Parvo in Dogs in LA County
Fill out and fax in one of the forms below.

Animal Shelters
Parvo Tracking Sheet for Shelters (for reporting in batches of 8 cases)
Vaccine Preventable Disease Reporting Form (for reporting one case in detail)

Private Veterinary Practices
Parvo Tracking Sheet for Veterinary Clinics (for reporting in batches of 8 cases)
Vaccine Preventable Disease Reporting Form (for reporting one case in detail)

The Public

Vaccine Preventable Disease Reporting Form

Updated 10/20/2015
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