A revolutionary diagnostic test has been developed by researchers at Kansas State University to recognize a new strain of the Canine Parvovirus. Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that attacks white blood cells and causes damage to the intestines. It can be fatal to puppies with compromised immune systems, or those still awaiting vaccination. Dogs that have the debilitating virus are immune suppressed not only because of their young age, but also because they often have intestinal parasites. The disease is contracted through contact with infected feces, and causes excessive bleeding and inflammation in the intestines. It may also damage the heart in some cases if it is contracted at a very young age.
Since canine parvovirus is very serious and can often be deadly, early detection is critical. Unfortunately, the current tests being used are not able to identify the most recent 2c incarnation, and often lead to false negative results. Luckily, this new polymerase chain reaction test (known as PCR) has been developed that recognizes all three strains and distinguishes between them. This is a notable aspect to the PCR test, because determining which strain is causing the infection, makes successful treatment and as a result, survival, much more likely.
This advanced analysis is being performed at Kansas State University Diagnostic Laboratory. For more information, contact the laboratory at 866-512-5650 or visit www.ksvdl.org.