A potentially deadly disease in dogs has been found in canines in the Antelope Valley.
Canine parvovirus infection, commonly known as parvo, is a highly infectious and contagious disease. Parvo has been reported in "concerning numbers" in Lancaster and Palmdale – 70 of the 162 parvo cases reported in LA County since January were in those cities.
Half of the cases were detected in April. Because the disease is contagious, it appears there is an increase in risk.
The virus does not affect people but can be fatal for dogs if left untreated. Parvo can spread through people's hands and feet, as well as through equipment and other surfaces.
Signs of parvo include fever, anorexia, dehydration, vomiting an diarrhea.
Petowners who believe their dog may be infected by the disease should keep their dog away from other dogs. Do not share dog bedding or toys either, as the disease can spread through surfaces as well.
Puppies are most susceptible to the disease, but any dog can be infected. Officials suggest all dogs and puppies 6 to 8 weeks of age and older be vaccinated. Puppies under 20 weeks should be revaccinated every three to four weeks until reaching 20 weeks old.
After an adult dog is vaccinated twice, it should get booster shots every one to three years.
Vaccinations are available bi-monthly at the Lancaster Animal Care Center at 5210 W. Ave I in Lancaster from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cost $14. The Low Cost Vaccine Clinics will be held this Sunday, May 11, as well May 25, June 8, June 22, July 6 and July 20.
Future dates can be found here.