Increase in Local Canine Respiratory Disease and Parvovirus

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Source: Public Health Department

Santa Barbara County Animal Services has noted a recent uptick of cases of canine respiratory disease and parvovirus infection in the Santa Maria area. The owners of dogs and puppies are advised to consult their veterinarians to ensure their animals are current on recommended vaccines and are informed about how to keep them safe and healthy.

Canine parvovirus is an extremely infectious virus that is present year-round in the environment. This virus can cause very serious disease and death in dogs and puppies. Symptoms of this disease include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Puppies are at greatest risk of contracting the virus, as their immune systems are not yet fully developed. According to Dr. Ginger White, Director of Shelter Medicine for Santa Barbara County Animal Services, “The chances of a dog or puppy becoming infected with parvovirus are greatly reduced with proper vaccination. Not only can a simple vaccine potentially save your pet’s life, but it can save thousands of dollars in veterinary expenses and heartbreak for dog owners.” Because they are higher risk for contracting parvovirus, puppies should be restricted from public outdoor areas until their vaccination series is completed at approximately 16 weeks of age. Most often, the parvovirus vaccine is combined with Distemper virus and Adenovirus type 2 vaccines, but this can vary. 

There are multiple different infectious agents that can cause respiratory disease in dogs and puppies. There are vaccinations available to help prevent many, but not all of these infections.

Dogs who are boarded, go to dog parks/beaches, group training, grooming, dog shows, and group walks are considered to be at a higher risk for infectious respiratory disease. It is recommended that these dogs be vaccinated against infectious respiratory diseases caused by: 

·      Canine Distemper

·      Adenovirus type 2

·      Bordetella bronchiseptica

·      Parainfluenza virus

·      Both types of Canine Influenza virus (H3N2 and H3N8).


Although vaccinations are generally very effective, they do not provide complete protection from infection in every dog.

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Bird Nov 25, 2020 02:49 PM
Increase in Local Canine Respiratory Disease and Parvovirus

When my small dog got that combined shot 4-5 years ago at Petco, he got very sick and it was recommended afterwards that he _not_ be given all those vaccinations, that he wasn't a free-ranging dogs, although we have gone to dog parks and Hendry's.

PitMix Nov 25, 2020 09:40 AM
Increase in Local Canine Respiratory Disease and Parvovirus

They don't recommend the dog flu vaccine for most dogs but this outbreak in SM might change that. As for bordetella, when I volunteered at the shelter all dogs got that vaccine and a bunch of them got that disease anyway. It seemed to me like the common cold that has a bunch of strains, and the vaccine only protects from a few of them. And it is usually a problem for stressed out shelter dogs. So I have never given my dogs that one unless they were going to Dioji's because they require it.

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