AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - With Canine Parvovirus season just around the corner, veterinarians said the deadly illness in dogs has remained one of the most costly in terms of treatment in Amarillo.
Employees at P.E.T.S. Clinic said they see a heartbreaking amount of dogs that are brought in with Parvo.
Parvo is highly contagious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces.
P.E.T.S. Clinic has provided information on Parvo symptoms and prevention to keep your dog safe.
Symptoms of Parvo in dogs include:
- Refusal of food
Ways to prevent Parvo exposure include:
- Get all 4 vaccinations on time from a veterinarian (starting at 8 weeks).
- No dog parks.
- Don’t let puppy walk around outside of a protected non exposed yard.
- Don’t take puppy to pet stores to walk on floors or in baskets.
Vaccines can prevent Parvo infection but mortality can reach 91 percent in untreated cases.
Intensive care is needed to treat this infection and with proper hospitalization, survival rates are around 80 percent.
Although Parvo season is mainly around spring and summer months, veterinarians and shelters see this infection year round.
“I see it all year round, it’s the most horrific thing to watch," said P.E.T.S. Clinic Manager Angie Shafer. "They could be hospitalized for days fighting this and even with all the things that the veterinarians can do, they may not make it. If they’re in the shelter, they have a higher risk of getting Parvo. You never know where they’re going to get it. It lives in yards, it’s on our feet, when we touch other animals, it’s on our hands and when we touch a puppy we could expose them. It’s just so contagious.”
Veterinarians advise if your dog does get Parvo to be prepared for a five to seven day hospital stay and an increase in cost of treatment.
“We’ve lost part of a litter this week from the shelter, the mom and babies all broke," said Shafer. "The rescue community was trying everything they could to try and save them. They were at a vet clinic getting treatment but it’s not always a happy outcome. The vets here in town do everything they can, it’s just such a horrific thing. Sometimes those little guys just don’t pull through.”
Shafer said the estimated cost for treatment can range from $300 to $1,000 or more.
That’s compared to the $60 cost for Parvo vaccinations.