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El Paso leading the nation in deadly dog disease

Parvo — It’s the deadly virus that can kill your dog in less than 72 hours, and according to some veterinarians in the borderland, it’s more prevalent here in El Paso, than anywhere else in the country.

Dr. Lizette Porras told ABC 7’s Christina Aguayo that the highly contagious disease is treatable, but dog owners must act the moment they see symptoms in their pet.

Dr. Porras said, “The most common symptoms you see are vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy and loss of appetite.”

She said the virus is spread orally, “So what is required for that to happen is fecal contamination or poop in the environment that has the virus in it, and then another dog comes along and is exposed to that fecal matter.”

A dog can get infected by merely sniffing contaminated fecal matter. Dr. Porras said that it’s extremely important to clean up after your dog, especially because El Paso sees a higher rate of Parvo-virus than nearly any other city in the country.

She said, “We tend to be one of those hotspots for disease, the south, in general, is also a big area for cases of Parvo but I know that in our area we see a really large amount of cases.”

According to Dr. Porras, vaccination is the best way to stop the spread of parvo, but the vaccination is not always 100% effective. “Even if you’re dog is fully vaccinated Parvo can still happen so if you’re seeing the symptoms please come in, days are essential for keeping your dog alive and healthy.” Dr. Porras said.

According to Dr. Porras, El Paso is right in the middle of parvo season.

Her clinic diagnosed 98 cases last year, and have already seen 24 cases of parvo so far this year.

According to Dr. Porras, Parvo is very dangerous for puppies, ages six weeks to six months, She also said that puppies should start receiving vaccinations at eight weeks of age.

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