A parvovirus outbreak in Chilliwack has the SPCA reminding dog owners to get their pets vaccinated.
The virus, which can kill young or vulnerable dogs, has been confirmed in 16 locations in and around Chilliwack.
"I keep a map of areas where it's been reported," explained Chilliwack animal control officer Trina Douglas. "I've never had this many areas flagged on my map."
That's a concern because the virus can live on the ground for months, even in freezing
SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said the virus has not been reported in SPCA shelters outside of Chilliwack, but it can be spread wherever infected dogs roam.
The virus spreads by fecal-oral contamination and attacks the gastrointestinal system, said Dr. Jack Anvik. Animals suffer vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Puppies can be hit particularly hard.
The Chilliwack vet said he remembers a worldwide outbreak of the canine virus in the 1970s, before there were vaccinations.
"It killed thousands of dogs," he recalled.
"They were dropping like flies."
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