Parvo warning to Lee County dog owners

CREATED Jan. 29, 2014

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - A warning about parvovirus went out Wednesday to dog owners from Lee County Domestic Animal Services.

The warning comes after a spike in the high contagious and deadly disease in puppies and young adult dogs.

The LCDAS Veterinary Clinic and local emergency clinics are seeing the increase over the last two weeks.  

The operative words from LCDAS, vaccinate your pets.

“It is heartbreaking that our tax dollars must be used to euthanize canines exposed to Parvovirus due to irresponsible owners who do not vaccinate their pets against deadly diseases.  A $10 vaccine is much less expensive than treatment or euthanasia if the pet cannot be saved, not to mention the extreme pain and suffering the pet experiences.  If you truly care about your pets, you will ensure they are protected through vaccination,” stated shelter director Donna Ward.
 
"It is recommended that owners check with their veterinarian to optimize the vaccination schedule for their dog,” stated shelter veterinarian, Dr. Nicole Feguson. 

Dr. Ferguson also recommends pet owners limit their pet’s exposure to other animals by not visiting pet stores, dog beaches, and dog parks until their pet has been fully vaccinated, which usually requires a minimum of three boosters within three to four weeks of one another for puppies.

Parvovirus is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces or passed along to puppies from unvaccinated nursing mothers.  Common signs include sudden onset of severe vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.  The virus can live in organic matter, such as soil, for over a year. 
 
More information about proper pet care and a list of local veterinary, emergency, and low-cost clinics, is available at http://www.leelostpets.com.