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Deadly dog virus hits animal hospitals, shelters across Las Vegas valley

DEADLY DOG VIRUS: Vets say parvo is popping up in animal hospitals & shelters across the Las Vegas. It’s extremely contagious, but very preventable with vaccines.

A deadly virus is popping up in animal hospitals and shelters across the Las Vegas Valley.

It’s commonly called parvo and it’s extremely contagious but very preventable.

If not treated right away, the virus can be deadly.

It can be brought home on shoes, hands and even the bottom of your dog’s feet.

Saliha Lezha said she couldn’t wait to bring home her new puppy.

“This is Panda. He's 6-and-a-half months now,” said Saliha Lezha.

Lezha can’t imagine life without her fur baby.

“He gets his teeth brushed. I give him baths and nail trims. He gets everything,” noted Lezha.

Lezha said recently her playful puppy was lethargic and had diarrhea.

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“He was, like, non-stop vomiting from the second he woke up,” she continued.

Lezha brought Panda to South Buffalo Springs Animal Hospital.

“We were very scared. We thought he probably wasn't going to make it,” she explained.

Veterinarian Aaron Bivens diagnosed Panda with parvo. He said it’s a highly contagious virus that’s spread through dog poop.

“Whenever they poop, if they've had parvo before, that can be in the environment up to six months,” said Dr. Aaron Bivens.

“So all it takes is another dog to come track through that same area, get it on its paws, go home, eat, play with a ball and they ingest a particle, and then they can get parvovirus,” he continued.

The virus makes dogs very sick.

Dr. Ken Sieranski is director of veterinary services at the Animal Foundation.

“They can exhibit signs of vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy,” said Dr. Ken Sieranski.

He said dogs can even die from the virus.

In the past few weeks, the staff at the Animal Foundation has seen at least two owners each day asking their sick dogs be euthanized.

“We've seen owners come in to request humane euthanize for their pets who have become very ill from the virus,” explained Dr. Sieranski.

“It's concerning because the virus is so easily prevented,” he continued.

Older dogs need to be up to date with their annual booster shots. Puppies need a series of three vaccines.

The good news is the virus can be treated if caught early. In fact, Panda is good as new after an eight-day stay in the hospital.

“Oh, he's great. He's got loads of energy. He plays with our other dog. He’s perfect now,” said Lezha.

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