Shelter Closed for Parvo Outbreak

Columbus Animal Protective Services needs adopters for loving pets like this little fellow. (APS photo)
(APS photo)

Columbus County Animal Protective Services (APS) will be closed through May 13 for extensive cleaning after an outbreak of parvovirus.

“Due to the high number of puppies coming in from the community that have not been vaccinated,” a news release said, “we have multiple dogs that have tested positive.”

Canine parvovirus infection is a highly contagious disease that attacks white blood cells and the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and other canines like coyotes, wolves, and foxes. In puppies, the virus also can damage the heart muscle.

All dogs are susceptible to canine parvovirus, although puppies six to 20 weeks of age and some pure bred dogs are at greater risk. Unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated dogs are most susceptible, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The signs of parvovirus infection include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, severe bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating, and fever or low body temperature. Parvo can have a 90 percent mortality rate if not caught quickly and treated by a veterinarian. The virus is spread through contact with feces. Humans cannot catch canine parvovirus.

On the recommendation of a veterinarian, the shelter and all equipment will undergo deep cleaning and sanitizing to avoid spreading the virus, the release said.

“This is both to protect our shelter animals here, as well as the public,” APS said.

Visitation and adoptions are cancelled until May 13, and the shelter will not be setting traps or accepting animals except in true emergencies.

About Jefferson Weaver 2033 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].