Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - Animal advocates are urging folks to make sure their dogs are vaccinated against the deadly Parvovirus after several cases have been diagnosed in Virginia Beach.
Parvovirus, commonly referred to as Parvo, is a highly contagious virus that will attack the intestines of a dog.
"The virus is in the ground, it's in the environment, throughout the community. There's not a year that goes by that, as Animal Control, we don't see Parvovirus in our community," Animal Control Supervisor Meghan Conti explained.
Part of the problem is that Parvo can live outside of a dog's body for a long time, which means it can be easily transferred from dog to dog.
"It takes a very small amount of virus in order to become ill and the virus lives for a very long time outside of the body," Virginia Beach SPCA Medical Director Dr. Courtney Harral told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.
Conti says already three dogs at the Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center have been diagnosed with the virus and other cases have been identified in other shelters, in veterinary offices and in private homes where Animal Control Officers have responded to calls.
She says the season for Parvo appears to be in full swing earlier than in previous years.
Both the Virginia Beach SPCA and the Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center are stressing the importance of vaccinations against Parvovirus as an easy way to prevent the virus from impacting your dog.
Emily Peck, Clinic Director for the Virginia Beach SPCA, says dogs going through the series of shots in order to become vaccinated against Parvovirus should limit their time out in public.
"You’re going to want to decrease the amount that you take your puppy out in public while they are young and not fully vaccinated. Limit what exposure they might have to viruses and other dogs," Peck stated.
Vaccines can be administered at most veterinary offices and the Virginia Beach SPCA is also Taking Action with two scheduled clinics.
- Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 11am-12pm at the VBSPCA Pet Supplies & Adoption Center at 941 Providence Square Shopping Center
- Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 10am-2pm during the K-9 Karnival at Mount Trashmore.