WARWICK, RI — The Warwick Animal Shelter has announced the Warwick City Dog Park has been closed due to a case of Parvovirus, a very contagious disease affecting dogs’ gastrointestinal tracts, and can be fatal.
Dogs younger than six months, compromised dogs and dogs that are unvaccinated for Parvo are at the highest risk, according to the announcement the Warwick Animal Shelter posted to their Facebook page.
“If you notice the following symptoms your dog should be taken to the vet immediately since successful treatment of parvo depends upon the treatment beginning in a timely fashion (Parvo can be fatal if left untreated!) vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite or lethargy,”
According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, the virus is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and 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.
Parvovirus is resistant to heat, cold, humidity, and drying, and can survive in the environment for long periods of time. Even trace amounts of feces from an infected dog may harbor the virus and infect other dogs that come into the infected environment. The virus is readily transmitted from place to place on the hair or feet of dogs or via contaminated cages, shoes, or other objects, the AVMA warns.
“Signs of parvovirus include lethargy; loss of appetite; abdominal pain and bloating; fever or low body temperature (hypothermia); vomiting; and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration, and damage to the intestines and immune system can cause septic shock.