Deadly Time of Year for Pets - 8 News NOW

Deadly Time of Year for Pets

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"I only hope we can save Marley, we're doing everything we can," Vicki Higgins said. "I only hope we can save Marley, we're doing everything we can," Vicki Higgins said.

The deadly parvovirus disease in dogs reaches its peak every Spring. The disease attacks the animal's intestines and is highly contagious

Dogs or puppies are most at risk and while there is a treatment, there is no cure. Parvo can be picked up at places where dogs come into contact with each other. It can be passed through feces, vomit or saliva.

'It's all over the place," said an angry Charles Belline.

He is picking up dog feces left at a park by another dog owner. He doesn't want to risk his dogs going near it in case the animal was sick.

"If the dog sniffs it and starts licking it, or eating it, that's another way they can catch it," Belline said.

His dogs, Chanel and Panda, are his best friends. He lost his Pomeranian Frosty to parvovirus last week. 

"We're just heartbroken," he said.

Vicki Higgins knows the pain of losing a dog to parvo.

"We didn't know, we thought it was just the doggy flu," she said.

Now, her second dog, a 16-month-old Chihuahua mix, Marley, is battling the virus.

"If we can get him through the symptoms, and get him to eat, he might survive," she said

Veterinarians say vaccinations are the key to preventing parvo. Higgins and Belline say their dogs had their shots. Even so, veterinarian Debbie White at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital said timing can make a difference.

"It's very important, not only to receive some vaccinations but to get them at the right age and at the right interval, giving them too soon between vaccines can invalidate the vaccines," she said.

White also warns pet owners to know the symptoms of parvo.

"Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, especially blood diarrhea, all of these are symptoms and you need to get your pet to the vet," she said.

Higgins is still mourning the loss of her other dog, Luna, who died Sunday.

"If they're not right, have them checked immediately, don't wait, I miss my Luna so badly," she said. "I only hope we can save Marley, we're doing everything we can."

Doctors say it's possible, but rare for your pet to get parvo if they have had a full series of vaccines. Vets say pets from six weeks to 16 weeks must receive a full series of vaccines.

Cats can also get parvo, but it is a feline version. It is also preventable with vaccinations.

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