Over the past two weeks, the Regina Humane Society has received dogs from multiple sources that have been diagnosed with canine parvovirus – a serious and easily transmittable disease that can prove fatal if untreated.
Most often transmitted through fecal or oral contact between dogs, Parvovirus (often also referred to as Parvo), can survive up to a year in the environment and can be contracted through direct or indirect contact with infected dog feces. Even if dogs don’t come in direct contact with an infected dog, they can still contract the virus through contaminated objects – shoes, clothes, even the ground. The disease is preventable through a regular vaccination regimen, beginning when a dog is 6-8 weeks of age.
Because the virus is so contagious, all dog owners in Regina and area should ensure that their pets vaccinations are complete and up to date. Caution should also be excercised in public areas such as walking paths and dog parks where animals may be exposed to feces, potentially infected dogs or areas that may have been contaminated.
Pet owners are encouraged to monitor their pets for symptoms of canine parvovirus that include:
- Severe, bloody diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Severe weight loss
Should any of these symptoms present themselves, pet owners are urged to contact their veterinarian immediately.