ALERT: Parvo outbreak
Parvovirus is spreading in the US—here’s how to protect your dog
URGENT: Deadly Parvovirus Outbreak Spreading in the U.S.
Here’s how to protect your pet
Last month over 30 dogs reportedly died from a mysterious illness in Michigan that ultimately turned out to be a new strain of parvovirus, also known simply as “parvo”. Initially, the disease was unidentified because the dogs tested negative for the disease.
Since that time, several other states have reported a large uptick in cases of parvo, including most recently in North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, and Washington.
Parvo is a potentially deadly and highly contagious disease that is super transmittable by both direct and indirect contact. This means your dog does not need to have direct contact with an infected dog to become ill— the virus is long-lived in fecal matter and in soil and grass as well as other surfaces and objects. Parvovirus can remain infectious in contaminated areas for five months or more.
Symptoms include lethargy, fever, bloody vomiting, and diarrhea. If not treated immediately by a veterinarian, most infected pets—especially young puppies—will become severely ill and often die from dehydration, secondary infections, or other complications.
The good news is that parvo is largely preventable through vaccination. That said, while parvo vaccines are very effective, they do not prevent the illness 100% of the time.
You should start vaccinating your puppy at around 6–8 weeks of age, followed by booster shots every 3–4 weeks until the puppy is 16–18 weeks old. If you adopt an adult dog, your veterinarian will talk about the right schedule for vaccinations.
Because parvo is spread easily from an infected dog to an unvaccinated dog, it’s best to avoid dog parks and other areas with lots of unknown dogs until your puppy has completed his full vaccination regimen.
Please give us a call at [HOSPITAL PHONE] if you need to schedule an appointment to have your pet vaccinated or if you need to check and make sure your pet is current. This latest outbreak is spreading rapidly and your pet’s health is our priority!