HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A warning for pet owners in Harford County. Doctors are seeing an alarming increase in the number of parvo cases.

Monique Griego has more on the deadly virus.

Doctors are still trying to track down exactly how many dogs have been infected with the virus and where. But that has been hard to do, because many die before they reach the vet.

Within the past week, a deadly virus has killed 10 dogs in a Havre de Grace neighborhood.

“They just started getting sick and within hours they were to the point there was no help for them,” said Cheryl Phippin.

Cheryl Phippin’s 2-year-old dog and its five puppies became infected with the parvo virus. All six had to be put down.

“I don’t have no more. I don’t want no more,” she said.

Vets in the area are also seeing an increase in the number of cases, but are still gathering data to determine if it’s a full-fledged outbreak.

“There could be one and they can be severe. They kill lots of dogs,” said Dr. Bradley Price, Havre de Grace Animal Hospital.

Price says parvo is spread through dog feces and is extremely contagious–especially in puppies and older dogs that haven’t been vaccinated.

“It affects the intestinal tract–causing nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration,”  he said.

Dogs can recover from parvo but it takes aggressive treatment that can cost into the thousands. That’s what forced Zakiya Jordan to put down one of her dogs. The other, she now keeps inside.

“We can’t afford anywhere from $800–$2,000 right now. There’s no way,” Jordan said.

The Harford County Humane Society is now testing all dogs that come in.  Local vets are urging everyone to get their dogs vaccinated and tested if they’re showing symptoms.

Phippin hopes other owners realize the danger before it’s too late.

“To watch them die it will just crush you,” she said.

Doctors say if there are reported cases in your neighborhood, the best thing to do is to keep your dog inside as much as possible.

While some dogs have very severe parvo symptoms others may not show any at all. That’s what makes it easy to spread.


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