If you attended the Puyallup Pet Expo with your dog on Nov. 3-4, watch him for signs of illness. A case of parvo has been documented in a dog that attended the Expo.
The organizers of the Puyallup Pet Expo confirmed on their Facebook page on Nov. 13 that a dog that was at the expo a few weeks ago died of the illness.
The Expo reported the outbreak on their website, saying "At this time, we do not know the circumstances of exactly how the virus was contracted or when, but we do want to let the public know as a precaution. We sincerely hope this is an isolated incident and no other dogs will be affected, but your pets’ safety is our top priority.
We make every effort to make sure the animals participating at our events are healthy and, as we find out more about this incident, we will be reviewing all of our procedures for next year’s event to ensure the health of the pets are never in jeopardy. We will also notify you if more specific and pertinent information comes to our attention."
Northwest Boxer Rescue reports on their Facebook page that they were at the event, and the personal dog owned by one of their volunteers died from parvo after being exposed at the event.
Northwest Boxer Rescue said all dogs were supposed to be up-to-date on vaccines and the Expo event staff was supposed to cross check records, but that was not done thoroughly.
A commenter on the Boxer rescue site noted that last year, the public was not allowed to bring their pets but rather, the event was meant for people see what pet options there are, to be educated, and to possibly adopt a new pet.
Other commenters said there was no way to be certain that the dog contracted the virus at the Expo since the incubation period for parvo is between 7 and 14 days.
According to PetMD, parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects dogs. The virus is transmitted either by direct contact with an infected dog, or indirectly, by the fecal-oral route. Symptoms of parvo include bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, vomiting, and severe weight loss.
On Monday, America's Family Pet Expo posted the following on their Facebook page:
Through careful follow-up with participants of the Pet Expo there have been no other reported cases of parvovirus. According to veterinarians, the outside window for the incubation period of parvo is 14 days which would be last Sunday. The Pet Expo has advised the Fair and Events Center of the proper cleaning steps as recommended by veterinarians for eradicating parvo from the fairground premises.
The Pet Expo has also created additional regulations for participating vendors and rescue animals for future events including a 2 week observation time. This would require that rescued dogs be observed for a minimum of 14 days—to insure they are not unknowingly incubating parvovirus—before being allowed to participate in a Pet Expo event. The Pet Expo will also no longer allow the public to bring pets to the Expo.
Some breeds are more susceptible to parvovirus and rarely a fully vaccinated dog will be affected by parvo, however, keeping your dog up-to-date on his or her parvovirus vaccination is the very best way to protect them against this devastating infection. If you have recently adopted a dog with an unknown vaccine history, follow your veterinarian’s advice for parvovirus vaccination and booster shot recommendations.