Cherry Point officials are warning residents of staff housing about a potential dog-killing virus.

Nine puppies tested positive last week for parvovirus, a disease that kills cells in the intestinal lining, thus limiting the dog’s ability to absorb nutrients and liquids, according to a general e-mail sent out Monday through the base.

Symptoms in dogs include fever and severe diarrhea that can be bloody. The dog may or may not vomit, but will usually appear lethargic and will stop eating and drinking.

The symptoms come on fast, and without immediate treatment, the dog could die within 24 to 72 hours. The disease, which has no cure, is almost always fatal in dogs.

The disease is more likely to occur in puppies that have yet to be vaccinated for the disease and have not developed a strong immune system.

The disease is transmitted from dog to dog through fecal matter within the environment. Parvovirus can remain infectious up to five months, and most disinfectants will not kill the virus.

The most effective way to keep a dog from getting the disease is through vaccinations that start when the animal is 6 to 8 weeks old.

Residents with dogs are asked to limit exposure of their dogs to other dogs as well as any animal fecal matter.

Dogs can get the disease from people who may have come into contact with an infected dog or fecal matter, so residents are urged to wash their hands and clothing should they come into contact with an animal with an uncertain vaccination status.

Though people may unintentionally spread the disease, they can’t contract animal parvovirus.

Should you suspect your dog has parvovirus, call a veterinarian immediately. The dog will likely be quarantined for treatment for 7 to 10 days.

Source – Havelock News 

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