The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control this week urged people to have their dogs vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus parvo, which has been detected in at least 70 canines in the Antelope Valley in recent months.
Of 162 cases of the disease reported countywide in the first four months of the year, 70 were in the Antelope Valley, County veterinarian Maria Sabio-Solacito said.
Dogs infected with the virus typically are lethargic, have a fever and stop eating, Sabio-Solacito said. They also may vomit or have diarrhea.
The virus can be fatal to dogs, especially puppies, but does not affect humans, she said.
Puppies need to be vaccinated once they are six or eight weeks old and need to be re-vaccinated every three or four weeks until they are about 20 weeks old, she said. About a year later, they need to be vaccinated again.
Adult dogs that have not been vaccinated should receive the vaccine twice—three or four weeks apart.
In an infected dog, the virus is present in all bodily fluids and may be spread from dog to dog by humans.
The Lancaster Animal Care Center has low-cost vaccination clinics scheduled on May 11, May 25, June 8, June 22, July 6 and July 20 at 5210 W. Avenue I.