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Parvovirus & Other Contagious Dog Conditions

Viruses, illnesses and infections can spread quickly from your dog to others. Our Gallup vets explain three contagious diseases and what to do if you think your pooch is showing symptoms associated with one.

Symptoms & Conditions to Watch For

As a responsible dog owner, it's critical to understand that many of the most common illnesses we see in our canine companions are also the most contagious. Here, our Gallup vets explain three very common and very contagious conditions that could affect your dog — and what you should do if your dog is experiencing symptoms of them.


Parvovirus is an extremely contagious and often fatal condition that is often seen in Gallup dogs. This potentially deadly viral disease is transmitted through contact with feces from infected dogs.

Symptoms of parvovirus include, but aren't limited to, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, frequent severe vomiting, dehydration and lethargic behavior. The virus can live for months, surviving on even inanimate objects such as balls, toys and blankets — and it can spread to humans, too.

The absolute best way to protect your pooch from parvovirus is through regular vaccination, particularly when a dog is still a puppy. Parvovirus currently can't be killed by available drugs.

If your dog shows any of the symptoms listed above, contact your vet immediately! Parvovirus is a veterinary emergency, symptoms should never be ignored.

Kennel Cough

Does your pup sound like they are honking while coughing? That sound could be a sign of kennel cough, which is a form of canine bronchitis.

Like a chest cold for humans, symptoms of kennel cough can include a dry or hacking cough, sometimes with accompanying phlegm or nasal discharge. Kennel cough can also lead to fever and, in serious cases, pneumonia.

While kennel cough usually clears up on its own, it's very contagious for other dogs your pooch may come in contact with. If your dog is coughing and showing other signs of kennel cough, immediately isolate your pet from other animals and contact your vet.


In spite of the name, ringworm isn't a parasite like heartworm or tapeworm, it's actually a highly contagious fungus that affects your dog's skin. This fungal infection spreads quickly between dogs that come in close contact with each other.

Some of the most common symptoms of a ringworm infection are lesions and patchy, red spots in your dog's coat. However, a dog can also carry ringworm with no visible symptoms at all.

Ringworm doesn't just affect your pets, though — it can also spread to humans. If you think your dog might be experiencing a skin problem, it's important to see your vet for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Is your dog showing symptoms of any of the conditions above? Contact us right away. Our Gallup vets have experience in the diagnoses and treatment of serious health conditions in dogs.

New Patients Welcome

Cedar Animal Medical Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Gallup companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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(505) 722-7786