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San Angelo: Parvovirus Outbreak (dogs)

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    Posted: September 29 2018 at 1:20pm
San Angelo Animal Shelter shuts down dog adoptions after deadly parvo outbreak

Staff Report San Angelo Standard-Times
Published 7:37 PM EDT Sep 28, 2018

San Angelo is suffering from an outbreak of parvo, a deadly canine disease, according to a city news release.

The City's Animal Services division is alerting residents and cautioning them to ensure their dogs are secure, avoid strays and to contact their veterinarian is their dog becomes ill.

The Animal Shelter has halted the intake and adoption of dogs, stated the news release issued Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

“We believe this disease was brought into the shelter by some of the strays and unwanted animal we have accepted,” said Morgan Chegwidden, assistant director of the City’s Neighborhood and Family Services Department.

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Dogs will be neither accepted nor adopted until at least Oct. 14, when the health of dogs in the community and in the shelter will be reassessed. The move was made late Friday after several veterinarians also reported a local outbreak, the news release stated.

The shelter will continue its other public health operations, including accepting cases involving dog bites. The shelter also will continue accepting wildlife and cats, which are not susceptible to parvo, the release stated.
What is parvo and what symptoms will dogs show

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease. It rapidly attacks a dog’s intestinal tract.

Symptoms include:

    Bloody diarrhea
    Weight loss

Parvo is transmitted through contact with an infected dog’s feces. The virus can live in the environment for months, although it is easily preventable if dogs are vaccinated.

"Veterinarians have theorized nearly 7 inches of rain this month has brought the dormant virus in soil to the surface.
Many San Angelo dogs already sick with parvo

Since Wednesday, more than 30 mostly mature dogs recently accepted into the shelter have been found to suffer from parvo, the release notes.

Typically, the shelter sees five such cases monthly, which usually involve more vulnerable puppies.

“The shelter vaccinates animals as soon as we receive them, but unfortunately that cannot help a dog already stricken with parvo... This situation underscores the need for people to keep their dogs immunized. That is a critical part of responsible pet ownership.”
How you can help protect your pet from parvo

Vaccination is a critical step in preventing canine parvovirus, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Here are other tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association to protect dogs:

    Young puppies are particularly susceptible and should be vaccinated during the first few months of life. "Puppies should receive a dose of canine parvovirus vaccine between 14 and 16 weeks of age, regardless of how many doses they received earlier, to develop adequate protection," AVMA notes.
    Adult dogs can be protected by:
    Ensuring their dog's parvovirus vaccination is up-to-date
    Using caution when taking dogs to places where animals congregate, such as dog parks, obedience classes, doggy daycare, kennels and grooming center. AVMA notes that reputable establishments reduce exposure risk by requiring vaccinations, among other precautions.
    Contact with known infected dogs and their premises should always be avoided.
    Do not let your puppy or adult dog to come into contact with the fecal waste of other dogs while walking or playing outdoors.
    Dogs with vomiting or diarrhea should not be taken to kennels, dog parks, or other areas where they will come into contact with other dogs.
    Unvaccinated dogs should not be exposed to ill dogs or those with unknown vaccination histories.
    People in contact with sick or exposed dogs should avoid handling of other dogs.
    Adult dogs should have booster vaccinations annually

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