What is CPV-2C and Where Did It Come from?
There are currently three known strains of Canine Parvovirus type 2: 2A, 2B, and 2C. Among the three, the newest strain mutation of Canine Parvovirus type 2 is the Canine Parvovirus type 2C or CPV-2C. However, it only differs from the first two strains at one of its DNA strand formation.
In the year 2001, researchers identified CPV-2C in Italy for the first time. They used a technique called Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analyses and sequencing to differentiate it from the other strains. RFLP
The first reported incident of a CPV-2C infection happened in India in 2010. Then, the virus continued to spread, reaching the United States in the year 2006.
Who Is at Risk of Infection?
Those most at risk of contracting CPV-2C, and all other known strains of the virus, are unvaccinated adult dogs and puppies that live together in close confinement, such as in animal shelters or foster homes that house more than one dog at a time.
Immunocompromised and unvaccinated adult dogs and puppies, regardless of age and breed, can become infected with Canine Parvovirus. However, compared to older dogs, unvaccinated puppies are more susceptible to all strains of the virus.
Incidents of CPV-2C infecting cats have also been reported. It was found that infected dogs can pass the virus on to cats and vice versa since cats can pick up CPV and become carriers. Although, it didn’t really come as a shock to many since the Canine Parvovirus was already suspected to have mutated from the Feline Panleukopenia Virus or FPV.
How Is It Transmitted?
The Canine Parvovirus, including the CPV-2c strain, spreads through the fecal-oral route. That means since infected dogs shed the virus through their feces, dogs that come into direct contact with feces-contaminated things and surfaces (toys, bowls, kennels, beddings, floors) can also pick up it up. The virus can also spread from one dog to another through grooming.
What Are the Symptoms of an Infection?
Early symptoms of infection are lethargy, loss of appetite, severe diarrhea (sometimes with blood), vomiting and high fever. However, fever in infected dogs doesn’t usually last very long. Once their temperature drops back to normal, vomiting and diarrhea become worse. Rapid dehydration follows, which can be very dangerous and has been a cause of death for plenty of CPV-infected dogs.
How Is an Infection Treated?
As with CPV-2A and 2B, a CPV-2C infection is mainly treated through supportive care, which includes replacement of lost body fluids, provision of anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medications, and prevention of secondary infections through antibiotics.
There’s currently no known cure for Canine Parvovirus, so vaccination is extremely important. In animal shelters and multi-dog households, infected dogs should be separated, and everything they come into contact with should be disinfected immediately. Since the Canine Parvovirus is resistant to common household cleaners, make sure you use diluted bleach (1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water).
How Can an Infection Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent your dog from contracting CPV-2C, and CPV in general, is through vaccination. There isn’t a specific vaccine for CPV-2C, but most Canine Parvovirus vaccines are proven effective in providing immunity to all forms of CPV.
Puppies should receive their first CPV shot at around six to eight weeks of age, with boosters given once every three weeks until they’re 16 weeks old. After a year, they should receive another booster shot.
For adult dogs, a vaccine booster or an antibody titer test every three years should do the trick. Although it’s true that older dogs aren’t as vulnerable to any form of the Canine Parvovirus, they can still contract the virus at any point in their lives. On top of that, the treatment for a Canine Parvovirus infection can be costly, so it’s best to take the necessary preventative measures and make sure your dog is protected.