Virus outbreak affecting dogs

A Dawson Creek veterinarian is warning dog owners of a potentially deadly virus.

There have been eight cases of the parvo virus just in the past week at the clinic, says Dr. Zoe Ross of the Dawson Creek Veterinary Clinic.

The parvo virus is a disease that attacks the cells of a dog’s gastrointestinal tract affecting its ability to absorb water, thereby causing dehydration.

The virus can be passed between wolves, coyotes, foxes, and dogs. The animals become infected if they come into oral contact with contaminated fecal matter or vomit.

Infected dogs will typically have symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea, says Ross, adding the animals often have to be put on IV fluids.

She says usually the clinic will see a few outbreaks of the virus each year but that she has seen considerably more dogs so far during this particular outbreak than is typical.

She says the best thing is for owners to have their dogs vaccinated. However, they can also keep their dogs away from unvaccinated dogs or areas where they or other wild animals might have been.

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