Tampa Bay pet owners advised to vaccinate dogs for parvovirus - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Tampa Bay pet owners advised to vaccinate dogs for parvovirus

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American Staffordshire Terriors are at higher risk, according to the ASPCA. Wikimedia Commons photo American Staffordshire Terriors are at higher risk, according to the ASPCA. Wikimedia Commons photo
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Dog owners are being warned to vaccinate their dogs for the potentially deadly parvovirus after a local Humane Society reported seeing an increase in infected dogs.

Canine parvovirus is a fast-acting, potentially deadly gastrointestinal disease in puppies and adult dogs.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay's Animal Health Center says it has seen a significant rise in the number of owned pets infected with the disease.

Parvovirus spreads when a dog comes in contact with the feces of an infected dog. Warm weather provides a perfect environment for the virus to thrive, allowing it to remain infectious on contaminated ground for months, according to the HSTB.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay recommends keeping puppies under four months and unvaccinated adult dogs away from areas with lots of dog traffic like parks, beaches, kennels, pet stores, etc to avoid possible infection.

Parvovirus most frequently attacks puppies younger than one year of age, but unvaccinated adult dogs are also susceptible. Most infected adults recover with expensive treatment. But, as many as 25 to 50 percent of infected puppies die from the disease, if not diagnosed and treated immediately, according to the HSTB.

"Parvo is a devastating, highly-contagious and costly disease that strikes rapidly and without warning," said HSTB Executive Director Sherry Silk.

"Thankfully, a vaccination is available and we urge the community to make sure their dogs are up-to-date on their shots."

Parvo shots are available at veterinary clinics, the HSTB and some pet stores.

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