Getting Answers: parvovirus detected in local dogs

Since early August, parvovirus has been detected in some dogs arriving at the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Since early August, parvovirus has been detected in some dogs arriving at the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield.

“We have had three cases that we have reported to the state…Everything has been very well controlled with our protocols within our building and so we have an isolation area for which we can manage parvo,” said TJO Executive Director Lori Swanson.

Western Mass News is getting answers on canine parvovirus and has learned it is a contagious disease that is transmitted only through dogs. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and increased temperature

Swanson told us this disease can be deadly.

“Especially in small, very young puppies, this can be lethal actually very quickly. There’s an incubation period of three to seven days,” Swanson noted.

Similar to COVID-19 in humans, dogs can have the virus, but not show any symptoms and Swanson said parvo is difficult to control.

“When it’s in the yard [or] different places, this is a virus that is very hardy. It’s hard to get rid of in surfaces that are poorest. When an animal is out in the yard, that can continue to spread for periods of time,” Swanson explained.

Swanson told us dogs could get severely sick if they don’t get care quickly.

“When we’re talking specifically about parvo, when it goes from lethargy and then you see vomiting and diarrhea, those are all very serious medical concerns that need treatment,” Swanson said.

Swanson advised dog owners to call their veterinarian or an emergency clinic immediately if they see any parvo symptoms.