Veterinarian warns of unvaccinated dogs after parvo case at local shelter

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Central Pa Humane Society announced the dog side of their shelter had to shut down after a dog tested positive for parvo.

Now, they’re using this incident as a reminder to pet owners why it’s important to stay up-to-date on your pet’s vaccinations.

Even though they have a strict vaccination regiment here at the humane society, they have no way of knowing what the animal has come in contact with until symptoms of a possible illness begin to show.

Canine parvovirus is spread when a dog’s nose or mouth come in contact with contaminated stool. There is no direct treatment, and the virus is extremely contagious.

“Vaccinating and spaying and neutering your pet is part of being a responsible pet owner in most situations,” Dr. Kayla Whitfield, Veterinarian Consultant for the Central PA Humane Society, said.

Parvo can also be fatal.

“Here in the shelter situation, we deal with volume, and we also deal with a lot of stray dogs, so we don’t know where they’ve been, what they’ve been around,” Whitfield said.

Staff at the Humane Society believe Frank, the dog who tested for positive for the parvo, had not been vaccinated before he was found last Wednesday night and already had the virus before getting the parvo vaccine when he arrived at the shelter.

“The vaccine was too late in his case,” Whitfield said.

Frank is now in isolation, and responding well to the medication for his symptoms, but the situation could’ve been avoided if Frank’s previous owner had given him the vaccine.

“By vaccinating your pet that gonna prevent the transmission of the disease for the entire community,” Whitfield said.

One shot required by the state is for rabies because it can be spread to people. Another one that is recommended is the canine influenza shot.
Whitfield advised if you’re travelling out of the state with your dog or they’re going to a boarder, get your dog vaccinated beforehand.

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