Parvovirus halts dog adoptions at Calcasieu Animal Services - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Parvovirus halts dog adoptions at Calcasieu Animal Services

Since January 9, 2012, dog adoptions have been closed due to an outbreak of resistant strain of parvovirus. The shelter is working in conjunction with LSU shelter medicine veterinarian to control the outbreak.

Nathan Areno, Calcasieu Parish Animal Services Director, speaks to 7 news about the recent closure of dog adoptions. "We had to close adoptions so we decrease the risk of sending parvovirus to a loving home", said Nathan Areno.

"If you do have a brand new puppy that is not fully vaccinated, it is probably a good idea not to take that dog to dog parks or other places dogs plan on co-mingling because that dog wasn't vaccinated", said Dr. Jae Chang of Farr Veterinarian Hospital.

The parvo virus is highly contagious. It can be transmitted by direct contact. Chang said, "In other words, if you touch a parvo infected dog and then touch another dog, you can unintentionally pass on the virus to the formerly uninfected dog". 

Dogs will normally sniff around the feces of another animal. "If that animal has parvo, then the dog sniffing can pick up the disease merely by sniffing the fecal matter of the infecting dog", said Chang.

Humans have also been known to transport the virus on clothing and shoes into their homes.

Signs of parvo include your pet not wanting to eat or drink, lethargy, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Dehydration sets in. The virus can eventually lead to a pet dying. Hospitalization with IV medication and injections are the best way to medicate a pet with parvo.

The key to prevention is to vaccinate both older and younger pets.

At the Calcasieu Parish Animal Services shelter, dogs are being re-vaccinated. After re-vaccination, there is a waiting period of 10 days. After the waiting period, if the dog isn't showing signs of parvovirus then they will be available for adoption.

Cats are still available for immediate adoption.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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