Deadly canine disease detected in Saskatoon

Puppies and young dogs are especially at risk of contracting parvovirus. Alicia Katz / Global News

A highly contagious and potentially deadly dog disease has been detected in Saskatoon.

The Saskatoon SPCA said parvovirus has shown up in several dogs that have come to the shelter in the last few weeks.

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Officials said it is most dangerous to puppies or dogs who have not been vaccinated.

“If your puppy or dog is exposed to an infected dog or the infected dog’s feces, they can pick it up,” said Patricia Cameron, the executive director of the Saskatoon SPCA.

“Even if your pet is an indoor dog, you can track the disease into your house and expose them to this deadly and painful illness.”

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Cameron said the most common sign of the disease are vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms include animals becoming lethargic, and a loss of appetite.

She said symptoms come on quickly, and pets will need immediate and extensive veterinary care.

The survival rate is roughly 70 per cent.

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Cameron said the best defense is vaccinating, which requires a series of three separate injections.

“If your dog has not had the full round of three vaccinations, they are in danger of contracting this disease,” she said.

Parvovirus does not affect people or other animals, although cats can contract a similar disease if not vaccinated.

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