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New dog owners asked to watch for parvovirus symptoms

Several cases of parvovirus have been recently reported in Alberta, prompting the SPCA to issue a warning to dog owners across the province. The Calgary Humane Society recently decided to close one of its shelters indefinitely after a pair of puppies from out of town tested positive.

According to the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, parvovirus is a highly contagious, often deadly virus that spreads through the feces of infected dogs. Some of its symptoms include bloody diarrhea and vomiting, and dogs with the virus are very depressed and won’t eat.

The SPCA is asking owners to watch for signs among recently purchased dogs. Puppies and young dogs are most vulnerable to severe symptoms, and those with an unknown medical history are most concerning. A fecal test can be done, along with an evaluation of white blood cells.

Officials say vaccination is crucial in stopping the disease from spreading. The ABVMA says cats can be infected with the latest strain of the virus, but those vaccinated against feline distemper are protected.

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