Vets see spike in parvo cases, urge owners to vaccinate their dogs

SPOKANE, Wash. — While coronavirus fears spread through the region and country, it’s also important to remember our furry friends. 

The Tri-Cities recently saw a spike in positive parvovirus cases. Now, veterinarians are urging owners to get their dogs vaccinated. 

Parvo invades the cells that line the intestines and leads to severe gastrointestinal symptoms. While it is generally found in puppies, dogs at any age can catch it. 

Veterinarians are warning that this virus can be extremely deadly if dogs aren’t vaccinated at a young age. 

Symptoms include vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Your dog may also appear lethargic and won’t want to eat. 

While the coronavirus pandemic has kept many people at home, local vets say owners have been good about bringing their animals in. 

“We all hypothesize why. I think a lot of that is a lot of people are home more, they’re seeing things about their pets that they didn’t see before, they didn’t realize. They’re just spending more time with them so maybe things are coming up that we’re not seeing,” said Dr. Suzanne Coulson from the SouthCare Animal Medical Center.

While veterinarians say the treatment for parvo is intensive and expensive, it is also very preventable. Doctor Coulson recommends starting to get your puppy vaccinated at eight weeks old to boost the antibodies to protective levels, helping ensure a long and healthy life.

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