Protecting Pets Against Parvo

Deadly Canine Virus on the Rise in West Texas

LUBBOCK,TX - The deadly canine virus Parvo is growing significantly across West Texas, according to local veterinarians. 

"I would definitely say that West Texas tends to have a much higher parvo virus rate than maybe some of the other areas of the United States and Texas in general," Live Oak Animal Hospital Dr. Taylor Chattin said.

"Speaking with other vets from other areas of the state some of them just don't see a lot of parvo at all," Chattin added. "They may see a couple cases a year at most. Where we might see a couple of cases a day, or potentially weeks."

This virus hides in other animal's feces that are already infected. Experts said it can live in the same area for months and even years at a time, and gets worse in the Fall and Spring. 

"It attacks the G-I tracks more than any other area on the body," Chattin said. "It causes them to lose the intestinal lining they have. It causes a lot of pain in the abdominal region, and causes loss of appetite and pretty significant diarrhea as well."

Chattin said puppies six months or younger are the most likely at risk to contract this virus. However, any dogs that have not received its full set of vaccinations are also at risk. He added it can take five to seven days to notice warning signs. 

"First thing people will see is loss of appetite," Chattin said. "Maybe some malaise where they start to feel extremely ill and that progresses to protracted vomiting and diarrhea to the point where they've become severely dehydrated and are at risk of infection as well."

Multiple local veterinarians told KLBK and EverythingLubbock.com they highly recommend against taking an untreated dog to areas with high canine activity, like dog parks or pet shops. 

"It's not to say you can't socialize them with other puppies but ideally you want them to be around other dogs who you know their vaccine history," Chattin said. 

He recommended that any signs of these symptoms could rapidly progress, and should immediately take the pet to a doctor to get fully examined. 


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