SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - An alert for dog owners in Springfield.
Animal control officers have confirmed two cases of the highly contagious, often deadly Parvovirus.
One puppy we're told survived.
The other, sadly, did not.
Now, animal control officers are sending out a warning to all dog owners that, if you haven't already, get your K9's vaccinated.
With one shot...
"That's it! That's a life saving vaccination," Pam Peebles, Executive Director of the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center, tells us.
This little French Bulldog, found recently on the streets of Holyoke, is now protected against the Parvovirus.
"A Parvo vaccine is only about a $10 vaccine and it's really life saving," explained Peebles.
Pam Peebles tells Western Mass News Parvo can be deadly.
Sadly, the outcome for two dogs, found with Parvo in Springfield Friday, was split.
"They're each about 9-month-old puppies. One pup pulled through and is back with her family, and the other pup was euthanized due to its medical condition," stated Peebles.
She says both puppies came from the same 16 Acres neighborhood on Corthell Street.
Anyone who lives in the area or walks their dog there, she says, should make sure their dog is vaccinated and watch out of the signs of Parvo.
Those symptoms include:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Weight loss
"It's gastrointestinal and the intestines sort of slough off, which is why you see so much blood, and it dehydrates them and they feel like junk and sick very quickly. It's a dastardly virus. Even with treatment, 50% mortality," continued Peebles.
It can affect all dogs, but particularly those unvaccinated..
"But our puppies are especially susceptible and, especially, if they've been weaned from mom way too young, which we see in urban areas way too often," said Peebles.
Peebles says Parvo is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces or people.
"It's easily brought by your shoes, into your home, if you're walking down a sidewalk where there's been a dog with Parvovirus. You can carry that into your home, to your dogs," says Peebles.
Early detection is critical.
"Once they start showing symptoms at all, that's the first thought you have that the puppy's just not right, a phone call to the veterinarian is important, because this virus will take hold in twenty-four hours," added Peebles.
The virus can also contaminate such things as food and water bowls, collars, and leashes.
Again, the vaccination is about $10.
Several local organizations offer the vaccine weekly, such as Dakin Humane Society and the Second Chance Community Clinic, both in Springfield.