H-SANTA MARIA

Oct 31, 2012 1:25 PM by Associated Press

10 dogs with parvovirus at Santa Maria shelter

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) - A California central coast animal shelter has 10 confirmed parvovirus cases this month and health officials are warning dog owners to keep their animals safe.

Parvo is a potentially life-threatening illness transmitted through animal feces and contaminated objects, including toys and bedding.

Santa Barbara County health officials reported the outbreak on Wednesday, saying eight of the 10 cases at the Santa Maria Animal Center were confirmed in the past week.

Parvo is usually seen in puppies, but the infected dogs range in age.

Health officials are urging residents to keep their dogs in a fenced yard until they are vaccinated.

Parvovirus attacks the digestive system and prevents absorption of nutrients.

Symptoms start with high fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. They can escalate to vomiting, bloody diarrhea and death.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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