Puppies dying at ‘alarming rate’ in Pontiac, group says – June 17, 2015

The Oakland Press (http://www.theoaklandpress.com)

Puppies dying at ‘alarming rate’ in Pontiac, group says

Puppies in Pontiac are dying at an alarming rate, according to the Animal Care Network.

The network, a division of the Michigan Animal Adoption Network, attributes the deaths to parvovirus.

“The parvovirus never really stops in our target area,” said network manager Pam Porteous.

“It knocks the puppies and dogs dead all year round but gets worse in the summer. We have kept track of it for 20 years. Nearly 300 out of 700 streets have had puppies and dogs die of the virus. And these are just addresses on streets that we are aware of.”

Parvovirus, sometimes shortened to parvo, can be prevented with a vaccine. It is most dangerous to young puppies but can affect other dogs that have not received regular vaccinations. The disease is contagious and is spread through contact with an infected dog’s feces. It can be transferred via shoes or vehicle tires, according to the network.

“Parvo can survive searing heat and subzero temperatures for long periods of time, which means the virus can survive long after the infected feces or animal has been removed,” a network press release states.

The virus can live for up to six months to a year.

“If you have a friend that had a puppy with parvo and you are visiting at your friend’s house, you can easily take the virus home to your dogs on your shoes,” Porteous said.

“If you are walking your dog in an area where an infected dog was, your dog will be exposed.”

Signs of parvo include loss of appetite, lethargy, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and high fever. Dogs exhibiting any of those symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian.

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