Albuquerque Animal Welfare sees uptick in deadly dog virus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Animal Welfare representatives say they’re seeing an uptick in a deadly virus. The sickness usually strikes in summer but, already, vets say dogs are dying.

They melt your heart. There’s nothing much cuter than a puppy.

Albuquerque Animal Welfare sees plenty of them come through, but they usually don’t stay long. Unfortunately, some never leave.

“Sadly, we’re seeing cases come in already. They started months ago,” said Animal Welfare Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Nicole Vigil.

She says they’re seeing more and more cases of a deadly virus targeting some of their most adorable intakes.

“Parvo will cause not eating. It will cause vomiting and diarrhea,” said Dr. Vigil.

Parvovirus affects unvaccinated dogs and puppies and, when left untreated, it will kill them.

“The diarrhea becomes so severe they can’t hold anything down, they become dehydrated and they can quickly die,” Dr. Vigil explained.

Thing is, a sick dog can easily spread the disease with anything it comes into contact with.

That means, if your pup passes by without vaccines, it won’t take much.

“You can get a sick puppy,” said Dr. Vigil.

Vigil says Parvovirus can stick around for months after a sick dog is gone.

“There can be viral particles left behind,” said Dr. Vigil.

Experts say taking your new pup out for a walk without a Parvo vaccine is like putting your newborn on the floor in a doctor’s office waiting room.

“Just like children need a series of shots. So do puppies,” Dr. Vigil said.

Parvo is completely preventable, but it takes more than one shot for the vaccine to work.

It can be treatable, too, if it’s caught early.

But Dr. Vigil said, “Going down that road of treatment can get really pricey and the vaccine– not expensive at all.”

Vets say the rise in cases is likely due to the warmer weather.

People are starting to get outside with their pets more often. You can find more info about how to make sure your home is safe for a new puppy, here.

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