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Animals at Increased Risk of Parvo, Vaccinating Dogs Recomended

Animals at Increased Risk of Parvo, Vaccinating Dogs RecomendedNew Harvest Homes NHH

(Andrea Johns, Ferndale Fur Trading Company, July 24, 2014)

Oakland County dog owners should be on alert with cases of Parvo reported this week. This highly fatal virus is often treatable if caught early, and can be prevented.

Although Parvovirus is most commonly seen in more urban cities such as Detroit, Pontiac and Inkster-Ferndale seed04_gallowayresidents are at a great risk because of the high volume of dogs in our town, and the amount of canine activity in our neighborhoods and our downtown. The highly contagious virus can live in the environment for months, and can be spread through any animal, person or object that has come in contact with infected feces. The virus can be killed with a bleach solution, but is most often transmitted outdoors.

Parvo warning signs include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever and foul-smelling diarrhea, which is normally bloody. Symptoms usually develop within 3 to 7 days of contact with the virus which attacks the rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract.moderntax

Certain breeds are more susceptible to the virus, including Pit Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Labradors and German Shepherds. Age, stress factor and general health also play a role in the risk of infection. But all unvaccinated dogs are in danger!

Dogs showing even the mildest signs of infection should be rushed to a veterinarian. Survival rates are directly linked to how early it is diagnosed. Fatalities are most often caused by dehydration or secondary infections rather than the virus itself. Treatment can cost more than $1,000 and requires at least one week of hospitalization, and still isn’t guaranteed. Megan Hajec, Veterinary Assistant (10 years) and animal rescuer (30 years) said Reid_Sally_115this about the recent outbreak, “Even a step in the wrong patch of grass can mean the difference between life and death for your unvaccinated dog. Death does not come easy. Your dog literally wastes away from the inside out… Losing your best friend and still having to bleach your whole world, or infect others. Please just vaccinate your dog.”

Luckily, Parvo can be prevented with a common annual vaccine that also protects against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parainfluenza. Puppies must receive a series of 3 vaccines, given 4 weeks apart. The vaccine is readily available at any veterinary hospital or clinic. However, it can take up to two weeks to become fully effective, so extra caution should be taken.

Low cost vaccines are available at All About Animals located at 23451 Pinewood in Warren, MI.  Other vets may offer it as well.

Local animal assistance group, the Ferndale Fur Trading Co. is happy to answer questions or assist you in finding a pet care provider. Contact them on Facebook or through email at

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