Shot clinic aims to combat canine parvovirus in area – October 5, 2009

Shot clinic aims to combat canine parvovirus in area

By JOHN GARCIA Special to The Oakland Press

October 5, 2009

Pontiac’s Animal Care Network will host a shot clinic for dogs Saturday to help combat the canine parvovirus that has killed many area dogs.

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that is deadly in as many as 80 percent of the dogs infected. It can be spread by anyone or anything that comes into contact with an infected dog’s feces.

The Animal Care Network has identified 195 streets in Pontiac where dogs are infected with the disease and have picked up more than 19 dogs since early August, when The Oakland Press first published a story on the issue.

“The majority of the dogs are pit bull and pit bull mixes. So that’s what we see the most,” said Pam Porteous, a manager at the Animal Care Network.

The group is composed of volunteers providing relief for outdoor pets in suburban Wayne and Oakland counties.

Dogs are able to get the shot for the disease as young as 6 weeks old, but many dog owners in Pontiac don’t vaccinate their pets.

“I don’t think it’s a priority. Another large problem is that these dogs are passed around from home to home and the owners have been told that they have all their shots, and that’s not true,” Porteous said.

The Animal Care Network is charging $10 per pet and the animals will receive shots for parvo, rabies and CVR.

The vaccinations are important because an animal is unlikely to recover once infected with parvo unless under the supervision of a veterinarian.

“Once they have symptoms, they maybe have 50 hours,” said Javier Lopez of Pontiac, who lost three dogs in a matter of days to parvo.

“We just moved here from North Branch and we had five animals, now we have two,” Lopez said. “I simply took my dog for a walk one time and I came back and that was it.” Porteous said they try to educate people about the disease and the vaccine. “It’s upsetting for everyone involved, mainly the dog who ends up bleeding to death,” Porteous said.

Special to The Oakland Press/PAM PORTEOUS
A dog infected with the parvovirus is shown. The disease has sickened hundreds of area dogs since early summer.


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