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Canine Parvo-Virus on the rise in Lee County

By Staff | May 13, 2010

Lee County Domestic Animal Services field staff recently have seen an increase in stray dogs with parvo-virus, a potentially fatal disease affecting dogs and puppies.
Pet owners are encouraged to vaccinate their pets for this deadly virus, officials said, adding vaccines are relatively inexpensive and can mean the difference between life and death.
Lee County Domestic Animal Services urges all pet owners to vaccinate their dogs for parvo-virus.
Animal Control Officers have seen several cases among stray dogs in the community and local clinics have reported an increase in cases as well.
“The parvo-virus is highly contagious, expensive to treat, and often fatal despite treatment,” warns LCDAS veterinarian, Peter Davis.
P.A.W.S. Lee County, a low-cost clinic located in North Fort Myers, has seen quite a few dogs with the illness recently. “We took six calls over just one weekend,” said P.A.W.S owner Theresa Ink, in a prepared statement.
Parvo-virus is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. It can be especially severe in puppies that are not protected by maternal antibodies or vaccination. The common signs are severe vomiting and diarrhea. The virus can live in organic matter, such as soil, for over a year. Victims of this virus die of dehydration as the virus attacks the intestinal lining.
It is extremely important to animal shelters that the public vaccinate their pets, as these are the same pets that might end up at the shelter if they get lost. LCDAS has taken a proactive role in the community and, as always, vaccinates all dogs entering the shelter against the parvo-virus. More information about proper pet care is available at www.leelostpets.com

Source: Lee County Domestic Animal Services