Category Archives: Dogs

Risk Factors and Control of Canine Parvovirus

Canine Parvovirus pic

Canine Parvovirus

Joseph Bisignano, DVM, serves as part of the treatment team at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, which provides a full range of general, surgical, and specialized care. At the hospital, Joseph Bisignano, DVM, focuses on the care of animals with parvovirus and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Although it can affect dogs of any age, the highly contagious parvovirus most often impacts puppies under the age of four months. Dogs who have not been properly vaccinated are also at risk, as the virus spreads through contact between dogs, through interaction with contaminated surfaces, or via the feces of an infected animal.

The virus is extremely hardy and can live outside of a dog’s body for a significant amount of time. It easily contaminates any surface in a kennel with an infected dog and can even live on the clothing or hands of the dog’s handlers. The virus survives in cold, hot, humid, and dry environments and is difficult to destroy using standard disinfectants, though bleach is known to be effective against the contaminant.

To control parvovirus, kennels or any home with multiple dogs must take care to maintain proper vaccination schedules. If one of the dogs in the home does receive a diagnosis, handlers must take care to contain and safely dispose of the dog’s bodily excretions, as another dog can contract the disease simply by sniffing the infected dog’s stool. Shoes that come into contact with stool should receive a thorough bleach cleaning, as should any other surfaces that may be at risk of being infected.

Finally, isolation of the infected dog is of the utmost importance. When the dog is no longer infected or no longer in residence, the area should receive a thorough disinfection using a veterinarian-approved cleaning agent.


Liver Issues in Dogs


Joseph Bisignano DVM pic

Joseph Bisignano DVM

A veterinarian board certified in veterinary internal medicine, Joseph Bisignano, DVM, treats dogs and other animals with problems like liver, kidney, and autoimmune diseases through VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. In preparation for his animal care career, Joseph Bisignano earned his doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) at the Western University of Health Sciences.

When a dog’s liver health declines, it often results in tell-tale symptoms that range in severity. For instance, animals may refuse food and urinate more than usual. They may also develop very serious symptoms like yellowing of the skin and eyes, a condition called “jaundice,” as well as experience blood clots and seizures.

Conditions that give rise to liver failure vary. Some dogs may have congenital defects like liver shunts while others may acquire liver disease by consuming poisonous material or falling victim to infections like canine hepatitis.

Besides birth defects and infections, dogs are susceptible to cancers that grow or spread to the liver. The most common type of liver cancers in dogs are those that begin in the organ’s epithelial cells.