LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Parvovirus is on the rise across Las Vegas.
Veterinarians at the Animal Foundation are seeing a spike in dogs, coming in with the highly contagious virus.
They believe there are a lot more out there.
There are signs outside most dog parks in the valley: dogs must be vaccinated. But veterinarians said dog owners are not following that rule.
“Today we have had about five new cases coming in the from the field,” Dr. Ken Sieranski said. He is the director of veterinary services at the Animal Foundation.
“What this is telling us is that canine parvovirus is out there and in the environment it lives for years,” he said.
That means even dogs that have been vaccinated once need to stay up-to-date on their parvo shots. At the Animal Foundation, treating parvo isn’t just a health issue.
“Because parvovirus is very, very contagious, we have a lot of dogs and puppies coming through so we have a very limited ability to house and treat these animals,” Dr. Sieranski said.
Dogs with the virus need to be isolated for two weeks, taking away resources and space from an already busy shelter.
“What this all comes down to is an urgent message for owners of puppies and adult dogs to get your dogs vaccinated, please,” Dr. Sieranski said.
“Less people are vaccinating for just about everything,” dog owner Vernon Kettmann said. “Measles is on the rise now for Pete's sake. Get your pets vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated. There's a reason that they do it. It's because it works.”
“It's very concerning to hear that other people aren't as concerned about their dogs welfare or the welfare of other animals out here,” Cristi Davidson said.
Veterinarians also said the cost of getting your dog vaccinated is cheaper than treatment once they have the virus.
You can visit the low-cost clinic at the Animal Foundation to get those shots.