The SPCA is urging dog owners to make sure their pet is properly vaccinated, in light of a contagious virus that has broken out. A deadly dog virus "Parvovirus" outbreak in Vancouver has lead the BC SPCA to issue a public advisory. It was released on Thursday on the SPCA's website.
According to them, a total of six dogs have been infected with the Parvovirus in the downtown area of Vancouver. The virus has claimed the lives of a number of the dogs who were infected.
The BC SPCA is now urging people in Vancouver to make sure that their dogs are properly vaccinated against the contagious disease. "Parvovirus, or parvo, is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease that attacks the gastrointestinal system of dogs and can also damage the heart muscle," reads the advisory.
"The virus is transmittable through contact with an infected dog’s feces and can live in an environment for several months or longer. Puppies and non-vaccinated adult dogs are highly susceptible to the illness."
Symptoms of the virus include vomiting, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea and lethargy, according to Dr. Emilia Gordon of the BC SPCA. If a dog becomes infected with the illness, the disease can become fatal, even with proper treatment.
Other dogs in Vancouver may have been exposed to the potentially fatal virus. “We are concerned that the six dogs, most of which did not survive, may have exposed other dogs in the community,” says Dr. Gordon.
“We urge any guardians of unvaccinated puppies or dogs to see their veterinarian and to seek immediate help if their pets show symptoms of the disease.”
Once a month, the BC SPCA also holds clinics in the Downtown Eastside with free vaccines and basic preventive care to pets with homeless or vulnerable guardians, according to the advisory.
To find out more about the Parvovirus and learn how to get your dog vaccinated, you can read the BC SPCA's full public advisory on their website.