Hopeful Henry: South Lake Tahoe experiencing Parvo outbreak | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Hopeful Henry: South Lake Tahoe experiencing Parvo outbreak

I’ve covered this topic before but am going to do it again. South Lake Tahoe is having an abnormal amount of Parvovirus cases showing up. The following information is provided by vetmedicine.com I highly recommend this website for even more information about the Parvovirus but I want to at least cove the important basics.

What is Parvovirus? The virus first appeared clinically in 1978, and there was a widespread epidemic in dogs of all ages because it was a new virus and no dogs had been exposed to it before. A vaccine was created. The incidents of this disease in adult vaccinated dogs is now thankfully extremely rare. But parvo still kills puppies and non-vaccinated dogs. Here are a few key points about this disease.

1. The most common clinical signs are diarrhea and lethargy. You may also see vomiting, fever, lack of appetite and cardiopulmonary distress, but diarrhea is usually the first and most pronounced clinical sign.



2. Puppies and unvaccinated dogs are most at-risk. There are many factors involved in who gets this disease and how serious it is. The vaccination status and health of the pup’s mother, the overall health of the puppy, and the age and vaccination status of the puppy. Add to that the virulence (strength) and amount of virus exposure.

Prompt veterinary attention is essential. Without treatment, mortality rate is very high. Puppies are born with immature immune systems. They do not have a lot of reserves. If your puppy is lethargic or having episodes of diarrhea and/or vomiting, please see your vet as soon as possible.



3) Parvo survives a long time in the environment. Some viruses die quickly when outside of animal and exposed to air. Others are deactivated easily by common cleaning agents. Not parvo. This virus may last months or even years in the environment if the conditions are “right” – cool, moist, shady with lots of organic or fecal material to hide in. Parvo is also considered to be ubiquitous – it is everywhere.

Dogs shed parvo primarily via feces (vomit may contain virus, too) and they may shed the virus for two-three weeks post-infection.

4) The parvo incubation period is three to seven days, sometimes longer. This is important because during the incubation period, your dog may act and appear normal. Vet visits and pre-purchase exams may reveal no signs of pending illness only to have parvo appear in a few days. Keeping your puppy isolated (for the pup’s sake and the safety of other dogs) and in a “safe” environment is essential, as is keeping on track with vaccinations.

5) Parvo still happens. As these viewer stories illustrate, parvo happens every day. Some survive, and sadly, some don’t. Being aware of the risk factors and clinical signs will help alert people to seek veterinary care sooner, rather than later.

Lastly and most importantly parvo is avoidable by simply getting your pups vaccinated and keeping them vaccinated through out there lives. If you can’t afford the vaccinations for PARVO contact the Lake Tahoe Humane Society 530-542-2857 for possible assistance.

Don’t forget it’s time to pick up your “Tahoe Pets” Calendar and Playing Cards. The Calendars cost $15. Also enter for next year’s calendar in person or online at http://www.LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org just click on Calendar link. Submit questions or letters via email to HopefulHenry@LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe CA 96158. The Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA has a Facebook page so stop by and check it out at http://www.Facebook.com/LakeTahoeHumaneSocietySPCA you can also become a Facebook friend of HopefulHenry at http://www.Facebook.com/Hopeful.Henry.


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