Parvovirus has been reported in Port Alberni and dog owners are encouraged to vaccinate their pets. (photo:freepexels.com)

SPCA urges Port Alberni dog owners to vaccinate against parvovirus

Two dogs from the north side of Port Alberni were diagnosed with parvo

The BC SPCA is warning Port Alberni-area dog owners to ensure their pets are vaccinated against parvovirus after two dogs from the north side of the city were brought into SPCA care suffering from a strong strain of the virus.

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.

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.

“Parvovirus causes vomiting, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea and lethargy,” says Dr. Emilia Gordon, senior manager of animal health for the BC SPCA. “A dog with parvovirus may also have difficulty absorbing nutrients, increasing the risk for dehydration and malnutrition. Even with treatment, dogs can develop sepsis and die.”

Dr. Gordon says puppies, who are particularly vulnerable, should receive vaccines on a schedule determined by the dog’s veterinarian. Typically, these start at six to eight weeks of age, with follow-up boosters at four-week intervals until 16 to 20 weeks old and another booster at one year. Adult dogs who did not have a full set of parvo vaccinations as a puppy should receive at least one shot.

This virus is resistant to many disinfectants, so it lingers on surfaces for several months. Dogs typically pick up the virus by coming into contact with feces from an infected animal.

“We are concerned that the two dogs, one of whom has had to be euthanized, 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.”

Just Posted

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

Port Alberni city council reveals 2019-2023 strategic plan

Strategies include revitalization, truck route, public safety

Divers encounter giant, weird-looking fish in Barkley Sound

Rendezvous Dive Adventures charter sees six-foot creature normally found in tropical water

Port Alberni Shelter Society makes space for seniors

Former shelter on Eighth Avenue eyed for affordable housing for seniors

B.C. homicide victim’s brother says he may never know why she was killed

Stetson Deese the family is preparing for the possibility they’ll be left in the dark on motive

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

RCMP on Vancouver Island seek information on alleged ‘breaking out’ bandit

Man alleged to have hid in Nanaimo business washroom ceiling overnight, took monitors

Donor upset no one noticed B.C. school’s sculpture had been missing for a year

Agassiz’s Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how theft went undetected

Purple fentanyl among items seized in B.C. drug bust

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Most Read