Parvovirus in Dogs Spike in the Spring and Fall

Lubbock, TX - If you're considering buying or adopting a new puppy or dog for the family, how do you know it's healthy enough to take home?

A local vet says there are things you need to be aware of, especially the parvovirus that spikes in the spring.

"I encourage people to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate because it is deadly. Very high percent of puppies if they're not treated well will die," says veterinarian Robert Taylor.

Taylor says he cannot emphasize it enough. Vaccinating your dog is the best way to keep them from getting the highly contagious parvovirus.

"You don't want to take your baby puppy to the dog park or to any of the pet stores where a lot of dogs have been because you never know what's been there," said Dr. Taylor. 

The sickness attacks rapidly dividing cells affecting their intestinal tract. Puppies under a year old are the most vulnerable, but there is still a chance your older dog can get the virus if they are not properly immunized. 

"Most of the time vomiting first. Not always. Then diarrhea turns into bloody diarrhea. And they vomit and diarrhea and vomit so much and lose all their body water and die from dehydration," said Dr. Taylor. 

The Lubbock Animal Shelter said they're trying to take extra measures to make sure you don't adopt a sick puppy.

"These animals are vaccinated the they go to the stray hold area," said George Torres, director of Animal Services for the Lubbock Animal Shelter.

Taylor said if you decide to adopt or buy a puppy, make sure they're vaccinated at their 6 weeks and then every three weeks after that.

"If they're treated well, a very high percent will survive," said Dr. Taylor.

"Microchipping, license, vaccinations. Those are just key things that the community can help us to keep these animals healthy," said Torres.

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