Wisconsin Humane Society warns dog owners about 'puppy killer' Parvovirus virus

The Wisconsin Humane Society is warning Racine dog owners about a deadly virus spike in the area.

Over the past week five dogs have died from the Parvovirus.

Parvovirus mainly affects puppies because their immune systems aren't as strong, but it can spread to all dogs that haven't been vaccinated.

While pups were at play at Racine dog parks Friday, some of their owners talked about an alarming virus putting furry companions in danger.

"I'm sure it's a scary thought for most people who bring their dogs here," said dog owner Dan Smerchek.

Within seven days, seven Racine dogs were brought to the Wisconsin Humane Society with Parvovirus.

"It's a big concern in the dog park," said dog owner Christine Tofte.

Tofte was stunned when she learned five of the dogs died.

“I had no idea it was deadly and I had no idea where it came from," she said.

K-9's can catch Parvo from dog-to-dog interactions or through droppings.

"By the time a few of those dogs even came to us they were so ill that they just couldn't make it," said Angela Speed with the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Speed says the Racine cases are widespread.

“It's not like one litter of puppies that contracted the illness so it's definitely all over the Racine community," Speed said.

The virus is known as the "puppy killer" is fast acting, highly contagious and hard to treat.

"It's absolutely tragic to see all those dogs die when it's a preventable illness," Speed said.

It’s preventable with just three or four doses of vaccine.

"I thought a lot of these diseases were kind of overkill, too many shots at the vets, but I know they're important now," Smerchek said.

Tofte believes her dog pumpkin is up to date, but she's going to double check.

"I need to check with my vet and make sure that she has the proper vaccinations and stuff," Tofte said.

The vaccine costs just $18. Some of the main symptoms of Parvovirus include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and unresponsiveness. If your dog is showing these symptoms they need to immediately see a vet.

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