Officials warn virus that targets puppies is spreading in Butler Co.

Butler Co. dog warden warns about parvovirus

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The Butler County Dog Warden Kurt Merbs reports a “rash of calls” regarding dogs with a serious strain of parvovirus in the Hamilton area.

Merbs says more than 10 dogs and puppies within the last two weeks have taken on very severe symptoms and most did not survive even with veterinary treatment.

Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and bloating, fever, vomiting and diarrhea that can cause rapid dehydration.

Ric Berlinski, DVM, is a local veterinarian who says he’s treated thousands of cases of parvovirus over his 20-year career.

“This is one of the worst virus we deal with as veterinarians, it really is,” Berlinski said, adding the virus mainly affects young puppies who have yet to develop a strong immune system. “(It) doesn’t allow the puppies and unvaccinated dogs to absorb nutrition.”

Berlinski explains dogs contract the virus by sniffing around grass or sniffing the feces of other dogs or wildlife.

“Pet stores (and) dog parks are simply parvo-factories for unvaccinated puppies,” he said.

“Everyone wants to show off that beautiful young puppy that they just got, so they take it to the pet store and let it walk around, and that is just a recipe for disaster.”

The full range of parvo vaccines can cost as little as $50, according to the Humane Society.

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