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Dogs contracting parvo in Rumford
RUMFORD -- The Rumford Police Department has issued an alert after several dogs in the downtown area have contracted Canine Parvovirus (CPV).
Parvo is a highly contagious virus that attacks the intestines and bone marrow of dogs. It primarily affects puppies and senior or sick dogs, but the majority of cases dealt with here have been healthy adult dogs, according to the animal control officer.
Cases of parvo have been found in dogs in Waldo, Cumberland and Falmouth streets, as well as Maine and Rumford avenues.
CPV is spread through the feces of an infected dog. A dog can be spreading the virus and not yet show signs of illness. CPV can live on the ground for several months to years, so any animals or people walking through the area can spread the virus rapidly.
If you own a dog in this area, or have had friends here with their dogs, the dogs need to be watched very closely for signs of severe vomiting and diarrhead which is usually, but not always, bloody. If any dog shows signs they need to be seen by a veterinarian immediately..
The only treatment once a dog is infected is fluids and medications given by a veterinarian. This treatment is very expensive and if not caught in time will be fatal. If you walk your in the downtown area, you need to make sure it is up to date on all vaccinations and make sure you pick up feces after the dog has gone. This is also a chargeable offense to not clean up after your dog.
If your dog has not been previously vaccinated for distemper and parvovirus, you need to do so immediately. Any areas where a dog may have walked or had contact with an infected dog, clothing, food dishes, bedding, etc., must be cleaned with a solution of one cup of chlorine bleach in one gallon of water. There are no detergents available in stores that will kill the virus.
For more information, contact your veterinarian or your local animal control officer.