Five cases of parvo in dogs from downtown

August 18, 2009

HAGERSTOWN -- Humane Society of Washington County officials have released the locations of five known cases of Parvovirus found in animals brought to its shelter.

Dogs in the following areas have tested positive for the virus -- the 900 block of Corbett Street, the first block of Berner Avenue, North Potomac Street, South Mulberry Street and West Franklin Street.

One of the dogs that tested positive for Parvovirus was walked in the area of Park Circle, Humane Society spokeswoman Katherine Cooker said in a press release.

Parvovirus, commonly referred to as parvo, is transmitted through direct exposure to feces containing the virus or by exposure to an infected animal.


The disease can survive on inanimate objects such as clothing, food pans and outside kennels, Cooker said.

Contaminated areas must be disinfected with a solution of one cup of chlorine bleach diluted in a gallon of water, Humane Society officials said. Other disinfectants will not kill the virus, officials said.

Items that have come in contact with the disease must be disinfected with bleach to control its spread, Cooker said.

Dogs that are infected with parvo show symptoms such as extreme diarrhea that is frequently bloody and foul-smelling, the release said. Other symptoms are vomiting and lethargy.

Humane Society officials previously speculated the increase in parvo is a result of the downturn in the economy, which is forcing dog owners to put off inoculating their pets against the disease for cost reasons, The Herald-Mail reported Aug. 13.

Paul Miller, executive director of the Humane Society of Washington County, on Tuesday again stressed the importance of inoculation, suggesting people try to work out payment plans with their veterinarians if cost is an issue.

How to prevent Parvovirus:

To help prevent the spread of Parvovirus, officials recommend the following:

o Inoculate dogs against the disease.

o Dogs not vaccinated against the disease should not be taken anywhere they do not need to go.

o Closely observe dogs and if symptoms such as lethargy arise, immediately take the animal to a veterinarian.

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