Dog Health Warning – There is a new strain of Parvo, Parvo 2c, that has hit MI, and at least 3 Kent County dogs have succumbed to this deadly disease. It is currently the most infectious disorder in the US.

“The number of local Parvo cases is disturbingly high,” said Dr. Wendy Swift, veterinary medical director at the Humane Society. “The virus is spread through fecal contamination, and it has been extremely fatal in puppies as well as in both vaccinated and unvaccinated adult dogs.”

Below is the release regarding this new strain of parvo, parvo 2c, that was issued to vets, groomers, boarding facilities, rescues and shelters;

Parvo 2c has been suspected as the cause of death for at least three adult canines in Kent County and surrounding areas. Two of the three dogs had a known previous vaccine history and tested positive on the Idexx Snap Parvo Test. The most current information on Parvo 2c from the vaccine/shelter medicine specialists around the country is as follows:

Disease: Parvo 2c is a highly virulent strain of the parvo virus that is extremely fatal in puppies and adult dogs. This strain of parvo attacks the circulatory organs approximately 24 hours before attacking the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, by the time a dog is presented for lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea it is generally too late.

Diagnosis: Parvo 2c is detectable on the Idexx Snap Test, but it has been showing as a weak positive on many tests. Viral isolation is the best way to confirm the diagnosis, but it is not going to assist with diagnosis upon presentation.

Treatment: Conservative treatment with supportive care has been rarely successful. Plasma transfusions from recovered dogs have shown to yield the best treatment success at around 64% survival rate.

Prevention: Schering-Plough (SP) and Intervet vaccinations have been proven to be 100% effective in preventing this strain of parvo. If you have any questions in regards to SP vaccinations please call 1-800-224-5318 (SP technical support). Fort Dodge vaccines were effective in less than 90% of the tested dogs/puppies, Pfizer was less than 70% effective in preventing disease, and Merial was less than 50% effective. This data was obtained from an independent source, and at this time the only published data is an article fromSchering-Plough (S/P).

Cleaning Protocols: There are only two products that kill this virus with a ten minute contact time. Trifectant and bleach (1/2 cup/gallon dilution) will successfully kill Parvo 2c. All other products that claim to kill parvo are not effective per Dr. Hall (Vaccination/ Shelter Specialist at SP) !!!!!!

Prognosis: The prognosis is extremely poor. Most puppies or dogs die acutely from the cardiac components of the disease process. If GI signs are present, the disease has progressed and is most likely fatal.

Please feel free to call me with any questions (616) 791-8218. Over seven veterinary clinics have seen this type of disease locally. The citizens of Kent County need to be aware of the risk associated with this disease. Please inform your clients and protect the canines in your area

The only way to know if a dog has parvo is through a positive diagnostic test.

Replacing fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea is probably the single most important treatment.

The Humane Society is encouraging pet owners to contact their veterinarians to see if their dog’s previous vaccinations provide protection against this current outbreak of parvo.

If you suspect your dog has contracted the virus, contact your veterinarian immediately and keep your dog confined, away from other dogs.

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