Animal Control Officers are warning pet owners about the signs of a deadly disease found in dogs. In the last month the Winchester SPCA has seen eight cases of parvovirus in dogs. Half of those animals had to be put down because their condition was too severe and they didn’t respond to treatment. Animal Control Officers want pet owners to know that the number one defense against the disease is vaccinations.
What to Look For:
Parvovirus is a highly infectious disease that includes the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea (may be bloody)
- Loss of appetite
How to Prevent:
The virus is spread through contact with vomit and feces, and it can be carried on anything that comes in contact with these substances, including a person’s shoes, pet carriers, and a dog’s feet. Dog owners should also be aware that parvo can live in ground soil for up to a year.
Parvovirus can affect dogs of all ages, but most cases occur in puppies, so it’s important to isolate young dogs from other dogs until they’ve completed the parvo vaccination series.
Animal Control Officers recommend getting your dog vaccinated as a puppy and ensure it receives a booster a year after the initial vaccine series and revaccination every three years.
Pet owners who can’t afford medical treatment for their dogs are surrendering them to the SPCA which is putting other dogs at risk. The Winchester SPCA is taking every precaution to prevent the disease from spreading.