Humane Society of Western Montana to Host Parvovirus Immunization Clinic

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MISSOULA – The Humane Society of Western Montana (HSWM) will host a dog and cat vaccination clinic to help prevent the spread of parvovirus as well as other preventable diseases.

The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 19 at the Missoula County Fairgrounds in Building 9. The walk-in clinic is being held in response to an increase in the number of parvovirus cases in and around the Missoula County. , according to a press release.

HSWM Outreach Director Meredith Stewart notes that HSWM has not had a positive case of parvovirus at the shelter in several years.

“In over six years, to my knowledge, no Parvo cases have passed through our doors. Last month, a total of three dogs required treatment for Parvo. Although three cases may seem like a small number, we believe that any case of Parvo is cause for concern and three require action against the spread of the disease.

The Humane Society of Western Montana notes that canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause life-threatening illnesses. It also attacks white blood cells, which makes infected dogs more susceptible to other illnesses.

Vaccines are very effective against parvovirus and create an immune response within 7-10 days. However, HSWM notes that it is important that dogs initially receive at least two vaccines two to four weeks apart in order to be fully protected.

“Puppies are generally most at risk for the disease, as they need vaccinations every two to four weeks until they are five months old, but any dog ​​that is not fully vaccinated can get it,” said Dr. Sam Mitchell, director of HSWM Shelter Medicine. .

HSWM encourages pet owners to visit their veterinarian after adoption. However, the current shortage of veterinarians means that many pet owners find it difficult to schedule appointments in a timely manner.

The rising cost of living can also force pet owners to make tough budget decisions, which has led to an unfortunate increase in Parvo cases, according to HSWM.

“We know people struggle to access veterinary services and we hope that public clinics like the one on November 19 will improve the lives of many pets and people in our area,” Stewart added.

Owners who notice that their dog is suffering from severe vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, or bloody diarrhea should contact their veterinarian immediately.

The following information is from the American Veterinary Medical Association website:

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies under four months old are most at risk. Dogs that are sick with canine parvovirus infection are often said to have “parvo”. The virus affects the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and is transmitted through direct dog-to-dog contact and through contact with contaminated feces (stool), environments or people. The virus can also contaminate kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs. It is resistant to heat, cold, humidity and drying, and can survive in the environment for long periods of time. Even traces of feces from an infected dog can harbor the virus and infect other dogs that enter the infected environment. The virus is easily transmitted from place to place on dogs’ hair or feet or via contaminated cages, shoes or other objects.

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