Module 2: The Case of the Sick Puppies

Lessons Learned

Why did this litter of puppies get parvo? Was it due to inadequate medical healthcare practices?


Test Your Knowledge


​Even though this shelter follows medical care best practices according to the ASV Guidelines, a litter of puppies still acquired parvovirus infection while in their care. This is a common occurrence because of the lack of protective immunity in puppies and their slow response to vaccination due to maternal antibody interference. The brief cross-contamination that occurred when a new puppy was accidently placed in the run while the litter was out for surgery was the most likely source of infection. The most important lesson is that the best practices allowed for prompt recognition and response to a disease threat that averted spread of infection to other susceptible dogs in the shelter. In addition, the infected puppies received prompt and proper medical care without jeopardizing the health of other dogs in the shelter.


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