Pima Animal Care Center sees increase in parvo cases

Parvo can live on surfaces and in soil for several months.
Parvo can live on surfaces and in soil for several months.(Pima Animal Care Center)
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 11:47 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pima Animal Care Center is alerting pet owners to an apparent increase in a highly contagious, potentially deadly virus.

Personnel at PACC have treated 47 cases of parvovirus in the past five days.

“An entire litter of puppies passed away despite the best round-the-clock care by the clinic,” said Monica Dangler, Director of Animal Services. “It’s so heartbreaking to watch them get sicker and sicker. They fight so hard but their little bodies just can’t take it.”

Signs of parvo include lethargy, loss of appetite, pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Most deaths from parvo happen within the first two to three days, so pets should go to the vet at the first sign of illness.

Parvo can contaminate clothes, surfaces, bowls, collars, leashes and more. It can live on surfaces and in soil for several months.

“This illness progresses quickly,” Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, Director of Veterinary Services, said. “Puppies can go seemingly normal to severely ill in a matter of hours.”

There are two ways to prevent your pup from getting parvo:

  • Keep your pets up to date on vaccines. For a list of low-cost options in Pima County, click HERE.
  • Don’t take puppies or unvaccinated dogs to public places until they are fully vaccinated.

“It is very hard to get rid of parvo once it is in the soil of your backyard,” Wilcox said. “The best way to protect your pets is to keep them vaccinated. A $15 vaccine can literally save their lives.”

Pima Animal Care Center is open Monday to Friday, noon to 7 p.m., and weekends 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. To see a list of available pets and services, head to pima.gov/animalcare.

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