The canine parvovirus, more commonly known as ‘parvo’ has been hitting the Philadelphia area harder than usual for this time of year. Experts are encouraging owners to have their pets vaccinated against the spread of this often, fatal disease.
The PSPCA has seen an unusually high number of dogs suffering from the virus within the past few weeks. According to an article on NBC10, there have been more than 20 cases already documented, which is high this early in the spring.
Though dogs of all ages can contract the disease, puppies are more severely affected. The PSPCA says most deaths from Parvo happen within two to three days following the onset of clinical signs if not treated.
Parvo is a highly contagious and life-threatening disease that attacks dogs’ intestinal tract, white blood cells, and heart. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, and severe, often bloody and foul-smelling diarrhea.
Kittens are susceptible to a similar disease known as panleukopenia. The symptoms are the same, as is the prevention, through vaccination.
The PSPCA offers low-cost walk-in vaccine clinic the first and third Saturdays of every month and on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 350 E. Erie Avenue in Philadelphia. No appointments are necessary.