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Risk of canine parvovirus infection among puppies attending socialisation classes in the USA

M. E. Stepita, M. J. Bain, P. H. Kass

SOCIALISING puppies between the ages of four and 16 weeks helps to prevent behavioural problems later in life. One way of socialising puppies is through puppy socialisation classes; however, some vets do not recommend that puppies attend group classes at a young age due to a perceived risk of contracting infectious diseases, including canine parvovirus (CPV). The aim of this US study was to determine whether puppies that attended socialisation classes were at increased risk of CPV infection and to determine the frequency of CPV among puppies attending socialisation classes.

First, veterinary clinics in four large US cities were contacted and asked to record a range of information on all puppies that received their initial examination in the clinic before 16 weeks of age and had been vaccinated against CPV at least once. Of the clinics contacted, 21 completed the study. Records of 1012 dogs were included in the final analysis. Of these, 48 attended socialisation classes, 876 did not and for the remainder it was unknown whether they attended classes or not. Of the dogs that attended classes, none were diagnosed with CPV. Fourteen dogs that did …

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