Friday, July 23 , 2010
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Angela Speed
Direct: (414) 431-6104
Shelter Officials Call for Vaccinations Against Parvo
MADACC and WHS Note Increase in Puppy Deaths
MILWAUKEE – Officials with the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) and the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) are calling for people to have their puppies vaccinated against parvovirus, after nearly forty puppies died from the deadly virus in the past month.
Ten puppies were surrendered to WHS with parvovirus since July 10; only one of the puppies survived. All of the 25-30 dogs who tested positive for parvo at MADACC died.
The virus is not spreading at either shelter, nor is there an outbreak within the shelters, but the rise in parvo-positive puppies being brought to the shelters has shelter workers concerned.
“Parvo is a highly contagious and deadly virus,” explained Dr. Randal Zeman with the Wisconsin Humane Society. “The virus is usually passed in stools and can last in the environment for more than a year under the right conditions. Parvo usually affects young pups under 6 months of age, but can also affect unvaccinated dogs.”
Symptoms of the parvovirus include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), lethargy, pain, dehydration, sepsis, and death. Because parvo is a viral disease, there is no cure. Treatment is aimed at maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, and preventing secondary bacterial infection.
Parvo is preventable. The parvo vaccine is part of routine veterinary vaccinations recommended for all puppies and dogs. The vaccine is generally administered around six weeks and is re-administered three to four additional times before a dog is a year old and annually after that. All dogs who enter MADACC or WHS are vaccinated immediately against parvovirus as a preventative measure.
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Interview/Photo Opportunity: For media inquiries, please contact Melanie Sobel, Executive Director of MADACC, at (414) 649-8640, firstname.lastname@example.org; Angela Speed, WHS Director of Community Relations, at (414) 431-6104, (414) 202-5539, email@example.com; or Jennifer Feurer, WHS Media Coordinator, at (414) 431-6123.