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Berkeley County Animal Control lifts self-imposed quarantine

December 05, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County Animal Control has lifted the self-imposed quarantine it put in place last week at its kennel to contain an outbreak of the canine parvovirus, the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office announced Monday.

"Casualties were very limited," Sheriff Kenneth M. Lemaster said in a brief interview.

Sheriff's Lt. Willie Johnson said Monday in a news release that seven animals "caught up" in the quarantine passed an observation period and exhibited no signs of the disease. Johnson last week indicated about a dozen dogs were exposed to the buildingwide infection, but then was unclear how many, if any, would have to be euthanized due to the virus.

Canine parvovirus, commonly known as parvo, is an extremely contagious and potentially fatal canine disease that is transmitted by direct exposure to feces containing the virus or through contact with an affected animal.

A dog that has contracted the disease usually will exhibit extreme diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and dehydration.

If untreated, the disease often is fatal.

To protect the public and prevent the spread of the disease, the county's animal-control facility at South Queen Street in Martinsburg was put under a voluntary quarantine on Nov. 26. Johnson said animal-control officers since have implemented new procedures for the intake of animals to help detect disease and prevent contamination of animals already being housed in the kennel.

"BCAC wishes to stress the importance for pet owners to keep their pets up to date with shots and vaccinations," Johnson said in the news release. "Should your pet ever get loose or picked up, those animals with proper collars and tags will always be given the opportunity of being taken home immediately."

Quarantining the kennel was done to prevent residents from picking up the disease and bringing it home to family pets, Johnson had said.

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