Dogs at Sonoma County Animal Shelter at risk for parvovirus

- The director of the Sonoma County Animal Shelter in Santa Rosa says another dog tested positive for parvovirus Tuesday and will likely have to be euthanized.

Five other dogs have already had to be put down. The shelter says even more dogs could be at risk.

"I'm as concerned as you should be as a shelter manager," said Sonoma County Animal Services director John Skeel.

Skeel says the outbreak started earlier this month when four infected puppies came into the shelter. Then Monday a pit bull tested positive and was euthanized.

Now 45 dogs, more than half the canine population, are in quarantine. 12 of those dogs are considered at high risk for infection.

"How it has gone from the puppies in the kennel to other dogs in other kennels we are still trying to figure out," said shelter veterinarian Dr. Katie McKenzie.

Since the outbreak the shelter has done special cleaning. Every kennel, wall, floor, even the offices have been bleached. 
        
"All of our adoptable dogs have not tested positive, which is a good sign, but we will continue to test. It is really he stay side we are most concerned about," says Skeel.
 
The shelter is awaiting test results on 14 dogs. Until then, it is not adopting out any animals until it's convinced the outbreak is over.

Parvovirus can be passed on by other dogs or humans. It attacks a dog’s gastrointestinal system and can be fatal.

"We do have a lot of dogs under a year of age that we don't know what the vaccination history is," says McKenzie.

The shelter says it is reviewing how it separates is dogs, to prevent an outbreak from happening again.
 

   

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