Parvo cases up in Amarillo, city urges vaccinations

Parvo cases up in Amarillo, city urges vaccinations
Ace was hospitalized for 6 days, accruing $1500 in medical bills / Source: KFDA
Ace was hospitalized for 6 days, accruing $1500 in medical bills / Source: KFDA
Ace is now home with his mom, but not all dogs are this lucky / Source: KFDA
Ace is now home with his mom, but not all dogs are this lucky / Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - More animals in Amarillo are contracting parvovirus, and Animal Management & Welfare wants to remind pet owners to keep their animals vaccinated.

Parvo is a common gastrointestinal disease dogs can easily contract through coming in contact with fecal matter.

The simple solution is to keep your dogs vaccinated, but sometimes that still isn't enough to protect them.

Parvo treatments easily exceed $1,000, and there is no home remedy.

It's for these reasons many animals with parvo have recently been surrendered to the shelter for euthanasia.

"Last Thursday we euthanized at least 11 [dogs] for parvo and we're typically up to one or two a day at this point," said Richard Havens, Director of Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare.

Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

If you think your dog may have parvo, keep it contained and away from other animals

Often owners of surrendered dogs do not disclose to the shelter their animals are sick, and quickly more dogs there are infected.

The easiest way to avoid parvo is to get your dogs vaccinated.

But last year, and again now, many vaccinated dogs were still catching the disease

"We're not exactly sure what's going on," said Havens. "If it was isolated to just one clinic or just the shelter we would consider a vaccine failure. But since it was happening across our community and we have multiple different suppliers of vaccines, vaccine failure was not the issue."

Staff and veterinarians are still working to find why vaccinated animals are also at risk, thinking it may be something biological.

But for now, Havens suggests closely watching your animals, vaccinated or not, since parvo is so easy to catch.

And be careful at dog parks until the frequency of parvo cases decreases.

Copyright 2017 KFDA. All rights reserved.