Massillon dog owner says vaccinated poodle contracted canine parvovirus

Massillon dog owner says vaccinated poodle contracted canine parvovirus

CLEVELAND — Animal hospitals and shelters in our area are seeing more cases of canine parvovirus. The highly contagious gastrointestinal virus can be deadly. Often, it is diagnosed in puppies.

Older dogs can contract the virus. A Massillon dog owner said her vaccinated poodle contracted the illness.

Pixie the poodle is Nancy Douglas’ travel companion and best friend. On Labor Day, Douglas said the almost 3-year-old full of energy dog was not herself. She had symptoms of the virus and was soon diagnosed.

Nancy Douglas

Pixie the poodle is recovering after being diagnosed with parvovirus. Pixie’s owner Nancy Douglas, has no idea how her dog contracted the virus.

“I don’t know how to explain it. I was beside myself. And they told me they need to hospitalize her and aggressively start treating her,” Douglas said.

Douglas shared with News 5 Pixie’s medical records, which included the DAPP vaccine, which protects against multiple viruses, including parvo. Pixie has been vaccinated yearly, her last one in April.


Nancy Douglas

Pixie’s vaccination history after her latest appointment in April 2023.

“When I see an animal that has documented history of having had vaccines, and they still break with it, it is the rare case that that happens to,” said Dr. Allison Lash, medical director at the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

The APL said it is treating and seeing more cases of parvovirus.

“Right now, we have four cases that are active, and one recently recovered and that has stayed more or less steady throughout the summer,” Lash said.

Lash said there could be a few explanations.

“Lack of access to vaccines, and that can be due to someone’s financial situation, but that could also be due to lack of access to veterinary care. You know, it’s been difficult to get an appointment with a veterinarian,” Lash said.

If your dog contracts parvo, you likely would take it to an animal medical center like MedVet Cleveland.

Medical director Dr. Dustin Beauchamp said their clinic is seeing more parvo, too.

“Over the last month, we’re definitely seeing it a bit more than normal and a lot more older dogs than I would typically expect, so normally, we see it in younger puppies or dogs that are unvaccinated haven’t had their full series of vaccines. But we’re seeing it in dogs that are 6, 9, 12 months, or even older than that,” Beauchamp said.

Dr. Beauchamp said it would be hard to determine how Pixie got the virus because it is so contagious and easily passed from dog to dog.

“It is killed with cleaning, but it stays in the grass and on surfaces for months and months, even in hot weather,” Beauchamp said.

Parvovirus is usually more rampant in the summer when more puppies are born and more dogs are outside. Both veterinarians recommend the best way to prevent the virus is to get your dog vaccinated and regularly. The virus cannot be passed from dog to human or human to cat.


Nancy Douglas

Pixie is Nancy Douglas’ travel buddy. Nancy said she wants to share with fellow dog owners to keep up on medical care, and be careful about where they are taking their dogs.

Douglas is relieved Pixie is back home, “she is doing relatively well. She is still weak, and she’s sleeping right here beside me right now. But I am just praying that she is going to have a full recovery; she is beginning to eat, that’s a good sign,” Douglas said.

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