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Pima County Sees Strong Uptick In Parvovirus Cases In Dogs

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Sunday, August 29, 2021 - 8:35am

R. Regnery and E. L. Palmer/CDC
Electron microscope image of parvovirus.

The Pima County Animal Care Center is seeing an increase of parvovirus cases in dogs. The highly infectious virus can kill animals in a matter of days, and has been spotted in nearly 50 dogs in less than a week.

Public information officer Nikki Reck said the virus is very contagious. “When we intake puppies, we just assume to treat [them] as if they have it just in case because of the ability of it being so contagious.”

“This illness progresses quickly,” Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, Director of Veterinary Services, stated in a separate press release. “Puppies can go from seemingly normal to severely ill in a matter of hours.”

“It is very hard to get rid of parvovirus once it is in the soil of your back yard,” Wilcox said. “The best way to protect your pets is to keep them vaccinated. A $15 vaccine can literally save their lives.”

Veterinarians recommend not taking unvaccinated dogs to public places until they get up-to-date on shots. Signs of parvovirus include loss of appetite, pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhea.  

Health + Medicine