updated: Oct 31, 2012, 9:19 AM
Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health
Santa Barbara County Animal Services is reporting a high number of cases of Parvovirus in
dogs in Northern Santa Barbara County. The Santa Maria Animal Center has seen 10
confirmed cases of Parvovirus at the shelter this month including 8 cases in the last 6 days.
The infected dogs have ranged in age. Parvovirus is most commonly seen in young puppies
but can affect an unvaccinated dog of any age.
Although Parvovirus can be contracted from any contaminated area, Santa Barbara County
Animal Services reports that the majority of cases have been seen in the area North of Main
Street and West of Broadway Road in Santa Maria. All County residents are urged to keep all
puppies safe by not letting them outside of your fenced yard until they have received their
vaccinations and are protected from the virus.
Parvo is a virus that attacks the lining of the digestive system and prevents the dog from being
able to properly absorb nutrients. Symptoms usually begin with a high fever, lethargy,
depression, and loss of appetite. Secondary symptoms appear as severe gastrointestinal
distress, including vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In many cases, dehydration, shock, or death
can follow. Parvo disease is spread from dog to dog mainly through exposure to contaminated
feces. It is also spread through contact with contaminated objects such as hands, clothing, food
and water dishes, toys and bedding.
If you have a puppy, contact your veterinarian to receive the Canine Parvovirus vaccination
series. Follow your veterinarian's advice on the vaccination schedule. Adult dogs should
receive the Parvovirus vaccination as part of their yearly shot package. Treatment for the
Parvovirus can be very costly, so insuring that your dog is vaccinated against the disease is
extremely important. Dogs 4 months and older are required to be Rabies vaccinated and
If your puppy or dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms of Parvo, veterinary treatment is
required. Help prevent the spread of Parvo by keeping infected dogs isolated from all other dogs
for at least one month after recovering, by cleaning up your dog's stool, and by using a solution
of 1 part chlorine bleach to 30 parts hot water to disinfect food and water bowls, bedding, and
on outdoor areas such as patios. If your pet is unvaccinated, do not take it to places where
interaction with other dogs is likely.
Parvovirus is specific to dogs and is not transmitted to humans. If you have any questions or
concerns regarding your dog and Parvovirus please consult your veterinarian.
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