Since Sept. 24, Georgetown Animal Shelter has confirmed 12 cases of Canine Parvovirus in dogs that have been brought in from different parts of the city.
To prevent Canine Parvovirus or “Parvo” animals should be fully vaccinated. Until a puppy has received its complete series of vaccinations, pet owners should not take them to public places where the virus could be living, such as grassy areas, pet shops, parks, puppy classes, dog parks, doggy daycare, kennels, and dog groomers. To protect adult dogs, pet owners should be sure that their dog’s Parvovirus vaccination is updated every 1-3 years. Finally, do not let puppies or adult dogs come into contact with the fecal waste of other dogs. Always promptly dispose of your own dog’s feces.
The Georgetown Animal Shelter will host a low-cost vaccine clinic on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 8:30-11 a.m. Three vaccinations for dogs are available including Rabies for $5, Bordetella for $5, and Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus for $10. Vaccinations also include a free microchip. Only cash payments are accepted.
Parvo is a highly contagious disease that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk. The virus affects the gastrointestinal tract and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces, environments, or people. The virus can also contaminate kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars, leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs. It is weather resistant and can survive in the environment for long periods of time.
Signs of Parvo include lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, fever or low body temperature, vomiting, and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration and damage to the intestines and immune system, which can cause septic shock. Most deaths from Parvo occur within 48 to 72 hours following the onset of clinical signs. If your dog or puppy shows any of these signs, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
For more information on Canine Parvovirus, visit www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/canine-parvovirus.aspx.