Canine Parvovirus Warning: Take Precautions to Keep Your Dog Safe

DeKalb County Animal Control is reporting a high number of cases of Parvovirus in dogs in the City of DeKalb with the majority of cases in the area North of Lucinda and West of First St. over the past few weeks. Parvovirus is specific to dogs and is not transmitted to humans. Parvovirus is most commonly seen in young puppies but can affect an unvaccinated dog of any age.

Residents are urged to keep all puppies/dog’s safe by not taking them to places where interaction with other dogs is likely if it is unvaccinated.

Parvo is a virus that attacks the lining of the digestive system and prevents the dog from being able to properly absorb nutrients. Symptoms usually begin with a high fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. Secondary symptoms appear as severe gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In many cases, dehydration, shock, or death can follow.

Parvovirus is highly contagious and is spread by oral or nasal contact with contaminated feces in the environment. It is also spread through contact with contaminated objects such as hands, clothing, food and water dishes, toys and bedding. It’s extremely resistant in the environment and can survive on objects for seven months or longer.

Help prevent the spread of Parvo by keeping infected dogs isolated from all other dogs for at least one month after recovering, by cleaning up your dog’s stool, and by using a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 30 parts hot water to disinfect food and water bowls, bedding, and on outdoor areas such as patios.

If you have a puppy, contact your veterinarian to schedule the Canine Parvovirus vaccination series. Adult dogs usually receive the Parvovirus vaccination as part of their yearly shot package. Treatment for Parvovirus can be very costly, so ensuring that your dog is vaccinated against the disease is extremely important.

If your puppy or dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms of Parvo, veterinary treatment is required immediately. Early treatment is essential in improving the chance of survival, since Parvovirus has around an 80% death rate in untreated cases.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your dog and Parvovirus, please contact your veterinarian. For a listing of veterinary clinics and hospitals in DeKalb County, please visit the DCHD website,