Parvovirus cases on rise in area

Posted at: 08/22/2013 6:49 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

We've received viewer comments about their dogs getting sick with a potentially deadly virus, which can be up to ninety percent fatal, and local veterinarians are noticing it too, like Dr. Adena Robertson of the Coronado Pet Hospital in Rio Rancho.

This virus is called Parvovirus, which is spread by contact with dog feces and causes some bad stuff like severe vomiting, anorexia, and lethargy.

Dr. Robertson stated that 3-4 dogs per week come into her clinic with the virus.

She also said that dogs don't have to be in contact with other animals. They could just be walking on the ground and get it that way.

Any dog can get it, but puppies, like 12-week old pug Roger, are more prone to it. Roger died this past Sunday due to the illness.

On Friday, Roger’s owner, Rhiannon Butler, noticed that he wasn't eating.

“He was getting weak and not himself. He usually was very upbeat and playful,” Butler said.

So the question is: What's been causing it?

Veterinarians, like Dr. Robertson, say that there's been an increase in Parvo because of the moisture and also because of the amount of heat we've had.

That heat and humidity is going to stick around for a while, and even when it begins to cool down and dry out, vets says that parvovirus can live in the ground for up to seven years, so make sure your pets get their annual vaccines, and try to keep your puppies indoors as much as possible.