Health Alert: Parvovirus Outbreak

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has declared a Parovirus outbreak in the northern part of the county.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services reports an alarmingly high number of cases of Parvovirus in dogs in Northern Santa Barbara County, CA.

The Santa Maria Animal Center has seen 15 confirmed cases of Parvovirus at the shelter in the last five days. The infected dogs range in age from puppy to young adults. The cases of Parvovirus documented recently by the shelter have been from a large section of Santa Maria, CA.

Parvo is a virus that attacks the lining of the digestive system and prevents the dog from being able to properly absorb nutrients. Symptoms usually begin with a high fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. Secondary symptoms appear as severe gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In many cases, dehydration, shock, or death can follow. If your puppy or dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms of Parvo, veterinary treatment is required.

Most commonly seen in young puppies, Parvovirus can affect an unvaccinated dog of any age. All county residents are urged to keep puppies and dogs safe by not letting them outside of your fenced yard until they have received their vaccinations and are protected from the virus.

If you have a puppy or an unvaccinated dog, contact your veterinarian to receive the Canine Parvovirus vaccination series. Adult dogs should receive the Parvovirus vaccination as part of their yearly shot package. Treatment for the Parvovirus can be very costly so insuring that your dog is vaccinated against the disease is extremely important.

Help prevent the spread of Parvo:

  • Keeping infected dogs isolated from all other dogs for at least one month after recovering cleaning up your dog’s stool and keep it away from other pets
  • Use 1 part chlorine bleach to 30 parts hot water disinfectant on food and water bowls, bedding, and on outdoor areas such as patios.
  • If your pet is not vaccinated, do not take it to places where interaction with other dogs is likely.

Parvovirus is specific to dogs and is not transmitted to humans or pets of a different species, such as cats. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your dog and Parvovirus please consult your veterinarian.

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