City of Escondido officials reopened the Mayflower Dog Park more than two weeks earlier than expected after a parvo scare shut it down.
The park, located at 3420 Valley Center Road, was closed on Dec. 8 after a resident reported a dog had contracted the highly contagious parvovirus from the area. The city initially decided to close the park until Jan. 2, 2016.
Escondido staff then reached out to County Veterinarian Dr. Nikos Gurfield for recommendations on what to do next.
He said the best protection against parvo for your pets is vaccinations. Under Gurfield's guidance, city officials decided not to sterilize the park because another sick dog could come in and contaminate it again.
Instead, they are telling pet owners to only bring their healthy, fully vaccinated dogs to the Mayflower Dog Park. It reopened for use on Wednesday.
According to PetMD, canine parvovirus (parvo) is a very contagious viral illness that comes in two forms. It can either infect the intestines, causing vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and lack of appetite, or it can manifest in the less common cardiac form, which attacks the hearts of young puppies.
Most dogs receive three parvo vaccinations early in life. The virus is spread through direct or indirect contact with an infected animal’s feces and can be fatal to dogs, but it cannot spread to humans.
There is no cure for parvo, according to PetMD. If a dog is infected, veterinarians recommend intravenous fluid and nutrition therapy to prevent dehydration.
After recovery, a dog is still contagious to other animals for at least two months.