County Animal Services fins no additional cases of parvovirus

County Animal Services fins no additional cases of parvovirus


The staff at Winnebago County Animal Services has telephoned people who have adopted dogs from the shelter since January 19, 2001. Everyone who has adopted dogs has been contacted, and of the 46 adopted dogs, none of them has shown signs or symptoms of the parvovirus. “That’s the good news,” said Dr. Alexandria Mercer. “The bad news is that parvovirus is everywhere, and all dogs are subject to being exposed to this deadly disease. That is why the annual vaccinations are so very, very important.”

Although no new cases of parvovirus have been identified, the adoption ward of Animal Services remains under quarantine until at least Feb. 12, as a precaution. The disease can incubate for up to 10 days after exposure before symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, depression and loss of appetite appear.

There is treatment for the symptoms of parvovirus, but no known cure. If diagnosed early, doctors can administer intravenous fluids to replace the bodily fluids lost to vomiting and diarrhea, but even with such treatment, many dogs will die from the disease in as little as a day or two.

With few exceptions, dogs of any age should be vaccinated against parvovirus to prevent infection. Annual booster vaccinations are required to maintain effectiveness. Winnebago County Animal Services is asking all dog owners to be absolutely certain that their dogs’ parvovirus vaccinations are current to prevent spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease.

Parvovirus is resistant to extremes in environmental conditions and can survive for long periods of time. It is shed in the stools of infected animals and is readily transmitted from place to place on the fur or feet of dogs, or by shoes or other objects. This is just one of the many reasons that it is so important for people to pick up after their animals, especially when exercising them in public areas.

Seventeen dogs were put down as a result of an infection at the county shelter.

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