Deadly disease kills two dogs from Columbia County’s Animal Control Shelter

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

Animal Control thinks one dog had Parvo when it got to the shelter...and then the disease spread to the others in close quarters. Some vets say spring temperatures are perfect conditions for the germs to live...and you may not know your new puppy has Parvo until it's too late.

Timothy Lowry adopted one of the two dogs that died from Parvo.

"I have two puppies at home that also contracted a disease from that dog," he says.

Veterinarian Steven Knittel says Lowry’s puppies are lucky. Dogs at that age are the most vulnerable, and the disease spreads easily through fecal matter.

"If another dog comes in contact it can become infected if not properly protected," Knittel says. He recommends giving puppies the vaccine right away.

Knittel says the disease can spread to people in rare instances...but a bigger concern is the symptoms. There aren't any for about 10 days.

Linda Fulmer with Animal Control says Lowry's dog seemed fine while he was there, and that the temperature could be to blame.

"The sudden change in weather--we went from cold to very hot--and that's what brings out this stuff,” Fulmer says.

Fulmer says after the two dogs died, they cleaned the cage with bleach and kept it empty for several days before others could call it home. Animal Control also contacted the Department of Agriculture to report the disease, as the law requires.

"I thought it was an act of nature, something that just happened," says Lowry.

But vets say you can prevent Parvo from happening to your pets by taking the proper precautions.

It takes about a week for the symptoms to show, and the vaccination takes a few weeks to kick in, so it's best to get the shots as soon as you bring a new dog or puppy home.

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