According to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, Parvo Virus is a highly contagious virus that can affect any dog. The virus which arrived in the 1970’s can incubate in as little as two days after exposure, and some dogs that have been exposed show little or no sign of illness, while others become acutely ill.
Despite intensive vaccination programs adopted worldwide, Parvo represents one of the most frequent infectious diseases in juvenile dogs. Based on data from a survey published in 2019 of veterinary hospitals, the estimated infection incidence of Parvo virus among owned and shelter-housed dogs is 4.12 cases per 1000 dogs.
Although young dogs under the age of 6 months and those not fully vaccinated are most at risk, dogs that have been fully vaccinated are still at risk of catching the virus due to a variety of reasons, including immunization failure.
According to Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM, an expert in veterinary hematology and immunology, no vaccination offers 100 percent of protection 100 percent of the time.
“Vaccination is not a sure thing,” she explained. “It certainly improves the odds that an animal will be protected from disease, but it does not guarantee this.
Although Parvo virus can occur despite our best effort, there is good news in the fight against it. Although there is no cure for parvo, and puppies and very small dogs are at greatest risk, the average treatment plan by most veterinarians consists of simple intravenous fluids and antibiotics.
Funded by taxpayers, Orange County Animal Services Shelter claims on its website;
“OCAS is the only open admission shelter in Orange County, which means that it does not turn away any animal and accepts all animals, regardless of their temperament or health. The health and well-being of the animals in the care of OCAS is of the utmost importance to Orange County and its community.”
Yet at a January 19th 2021 Board Meeting, Board Member Janet Williams questioned the Parvo protocols for shelter cats and dogs diagnosed with Parvo. The response from Shelter Manager Diane Summers was alarming. The meeting minutes state;
“ in Parvo cases the animal must be out of our facility by the end of the day. Every effort is made to find a rescue partner to take both dogs or cats.”
So the shelter that makes the claim that “the animals in the care of OCAS is of the utmost importance to Orange County doesn’t actually provide medical care for those sick animals but instead dumps or euthanizes them like unwanted trash? Orange County Animal Services Shelter has staff veterinarians paid for by the taxpayers. Why aren’t these homeless pets being treated by staff veterinarians instead of being dumped at a private rescue for medical care, or worse, euthanized “if every effort to find a rescue partner” by the end of the day are unsuccessful?
According to Los Angeles veterinarian Wendy C. Brooks, DVM, with early detection, an estimated 80 percent of parvo-infected dogs treated at veterinary clinics recover. Don’t our shelter pets deserve to receive life-saving treatment with an 80 percent recovery rate?
“My typical parvo patient is a four-month-old unvaccinated or partially vaccinated puppy,” says Dr. Eskew, DVM who specializes in emergency care for the last 25 years, “and I see as many as 20 a week. I’m convinced that of all the treatments we use, intravenous fluids make the most difference. In one case I treated a litter of puppies for a man who couldn’t afford antibiotics or other drugs, so I used fluids alone, and the pups all recovered. In fact, as far as I know, all my parvo patients have survived.”
Don’t Orange County homeless dogs and cats and taxpayers deserve better from the Orange County Animal Shelter? Taxpayers and local government should demand better treatment of its shelter animals.
Contact Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings @ [email protected] and Shelter Manager Diane Summers @[email protected] to demand that the Orange County shelter stop dumping and/or killing sick dogs and cats and instead provide them with the medical treatment they deserve.