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Whistler dog owners are warned there have been several cases of parvo virus in the Whistler area in the last month and they should keep their animals away from stray dogs. Dr. David Lane of Coast Mountain Veterinary Services says there have been eight cases of parvo in the last month, and four dogs are currently hospitalized with the infection. Parvo viral enteritis is carried by wolves and coyotes. The virus gets in the lining of a dog’s intestine and can completely destroy the intestine. Parvo causes bloody diarrhea and vomiting in infected dogs, which leads to dehydration and can result in death. The virus can be spread by the diarrhea of an infected dog. Even after the diarrhea has been washed away the virus can remain alive and spread to other dogs if they sniff the area. The good news is that parvo is largely preventable. Puppies require a series of three vaccinations and adult dogs require an annual vaccination. Lane says that none of the eight dogs that have been infected were completely vaccinated. Rotweillers are four times as likely to get parvo as other dogs. Lane warns that even dogs whose vaccinations are up to date are not 100 per cent safe from parvo, so owners should not let their dogs run free or associate with stray animals. Dogs that are vaccinated and become infected generally have less severe cases of parvo.

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