December 2, 2012 in Region

Canine virus spikes in Puget Sound region

Associated Press
 

EVERETT – An outbreak of canine virus in the Puget Sound region has dog owners nervous, the Everett Herald reported Saturday.

Parvovirus is highly contagious, can be deadly for young dogs, and can live in dirty areas for a long time.

The discovery of the virus in the area prompted the cities of Everett and Mukilteo to close municipal off-leash dog parks this week. There have been unconfirmed reports of dogs becoming ill after visiting an Everett dog park, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said.

In Seattle, there has been a spike in the number of reported cases.

After the cities of Everett and Mukilteo closed municipal off-leash dog parks this week, Cheryl Campbell, of Mukilteo, immediately called her veterinarian, Thomas Koenig, for more information.

Campbell’s beagles are up-to-date in all of their vaccines, she was assured.

“My vet said the virus can stay in dirt for very long time, so I am keeping my dogs out of the off-leash parks as long as I can,” Campbell said.

Koenig said he was not aware of an outbreak of parvovirus in Snohomish County. In Seattle, however, there has been a spike in the number of reported cases.

At the Washington State Veterinary Medicine Association office in Pullman, people are keeping an eye on the King County outbreak.

“It’s important to note that parvovirus is in the environment all the time and that outbreaks occur sporadically,” association spokesman Charlie Powell said. “Unvaccinated dogs are at risk, but some dogs who have the vaccine may not even be able to fight it.”

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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