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Deadly dog virus makes its way to Milwaukee

Posted at 10:21 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 23:21:51-04

Dog owners beware, veterinarians and shelters are seeing a spike in the deadly illness called parvovirus. The Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission, known as MADACC has seen 15 cases just within the past month.

MADACC officials said all puppies and unvaccinated dogs are at risk for the disease that can kill your pet in less than 48 hours.

Fifteen dogs in the Milwaukee area sick with parvovirus is a frightening thought for people like Judy Parola who brought their furry companions to the dog park Wednesday night.

"Weary, you're going to take more interest in how the dog is feeling, probably don't want to bring them to the dog park at this time," Parola said.

MADACC said parvovirus is fairly common this time of year as it's passed through feces from one dog to another. It affects their internal organs sadly to the point where those organs shut down.

"I will go to call my vet and ask what prevention I can take."

MADACC outreach coordinator Kathy Shillinglaw calls the recent uptick in cases alarming, especially considering how quickly the disease spreads.

"Multiple times a day, sometimes every other day and we're seeing litters of puppies coming in with parvo so it definitely is a spike," she said.

Shillinglaw said puppies are most at risk, followed by older dogs that aren't up to date on vaccinations.

"For most people, if you go to your vet regularly and you keep up with your vaccines you do not have anything to worry about," said Shillinglaw. "It's people with very young puppies that maybe have had just one vaccine or no vaccine or if you haven't been vaccinating your pet routinely."

MADACC said there is no cure for this virus and treatment can cost several thousand dollars.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

For more information on prevention, treatment and symptoms, click here.