TUCSON - Pima County officials are warning dog owners to beware of parvovirus after 20 dogs at the Pima Animal Care Center had to be euthanized.
Parvo is a gastrointestinal ailment that causes lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. The virus becomes life-threatening to dogs when the vomiting and diarrhea cause severe dehydration, the association said.
Pima Animal Care Center officials said that 47 dogs were quarantined after possible exposure to parvo, meaning they may have come in contact with an infected dog with the highly contagious and potentially fatal virus which is most common in puppies and most often spread through feces.
"It's in the community," said Vicki Anne Duraine, a spokeswoman for the center.
None of the quarantined canines is showing signs of the virus, she said, but they will remain isolated for 14 days.
Any dogs showing symptoms should be taken to a vet, the association added, because death usually occurs within the first 48 to 72 hours after symptoms occur.