A serious strain of canine parvovirus has been making its way through the City of Hamilton, according to a recent announcement by the Butler County Dog Warden & Humane Officers via a Facebook post on Thursday, Aug. 27.
"There seems to be a strain of this in our area and we have seen 10+ dogs and puppies within 2 weeks taken on very severe symptoms and most did not survive even with critical vet treatment," the post reads.
The warden urges pet owners to make sure their dogs are up-to-date on all of their parvovirus vaccines, especially if they are puppies — and if they are not, to prohibit them from socializing with other dogs.
Canine parvovirus is an immensely contagious virus that affects the stomach and small intestines. "The virus prefers to infect the small intestine, where it destroys cells, impairs absorption, and disrupts the gut barrier. Parvo in puppies also affects the bone marrow and lymphopoietic tissues, and in some cases can also affect the heart," says the American Kennel Club.
Animal Friends Humane Society, located in Hamilton, also posted about the virus' recent prevalence, stating that "Ohio has seen a 450% INCREASE in canine parvovirus this summer compared to last."
"Puppies under 6 months are most likely to get the virus, but it's not uncommon for older dogs to also be infected. The virus is spread through poop and can live in the environment for over a year," AFHS says in the post. "This means your dog doesn't have to come in contact with another dog to be infected, they only have to come in contact with the poop of an infected dog."
If your dog, especially if it is a puppy, is experiencing any symptoms including vomiting, lethargy, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, dehydration, weakness or depression, notify your vet immediately.
For more information about canine parvovirus, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association's website for their resource guide.