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Recent Parvo Outbreak Cause for Concern in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, July 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- St. Francis Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, has been seeing an increase in the number of pets brought in with parvo. Parvo (parvovirus) is not only very contagious, it is also hard to eradicate once a pet is infected. The virus is able to live for months in the environment, without a host.

Parvo on the Rise in Las Vegas Valley areas

According to Dr. David Drake of St. Francis Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, the recent uptick in cases of parvo could be due to a number of reasons, including out-of-date vaccinations or a new strain of the virus. The parvo vaccination is a core vaccine for puppies and should be part of a pet care program. Vaccination should take place during a pet wellness examination starting when a puppy is 8 weeks old and continuing until they are a year old.

Although the vaccine can protect against some strains of the virus, it does not protect against all strains, notes Dr. Drake. The Las Vegas veterinarians believe they are seeing more cases of the disease due to a new strain of the virus that is immune to the vaccination.

There is a real danger in the recent outbreak of parvo in the valley area. The disease can be easily spread from dog to dog, so animals in shelters or staying in kennels are at high risk if one becomes infected. An animal shelter in the area was recently forced to stop taking in pets and to put down some animals after an outbreak of the disease. Shelters that take in any animals, regardless of health or vaccination history, have the greatest risk for an outbreak of parvo.

The Parvo virus attacks cells in dogs that divide rapidly, particularly the cells in the lining of the intestine. Symptoms of the virus typically appear about four days after infection. The most common early symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. Infected dogs are also usually depressed or lethargic. Many dogs become dehydrated as a result of the frequent and profuse diarrhea.

A dog suffering from symptoms of the parvovirus needs to be treated by a veterinarian. There is no medication available to kill the virus. Instead, a dog will be treated with intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. In time, the pet's immune system should flush out the virus.

The veterinary team at St. Francis Animal Hospital provides wellness and preventative care to pets, including spay and neuter surgery, vaccinations, and dental care. To learn more on how to prevent your pet from getting Parvo visit St Francis Animal Hospital's website at stfrancisanimalhospitallasvegas.com

CONTACT: St Francis Animal Hospital 888-667-5235Source:St. Francis Animal Hospital