An outbreak of the canine parvovirus, a contagious viral disease that can be deadly to dogs, has led to the precautionary closure of the dog park located on Al Tahoe Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe.
South Lake Tahoe is seeing an abnormal amount of parvovirus cases, according to the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and S.P.C.A. In the past 10 days, 11 cases were reported — two of which were fatal.
The disease in adult vaccinated dogs is extremely rare, but it can still kill puppies and non-vaccinated dogs, said Humane Society Executive Director Niki Congero.
As a result, the Al Tahoe dog park was closed for cleaning as a measure to prevent the virus from spreading, the city announced Tuesday. It will remain closed for the next seven to 10 days.
Parvovirus attacks the cells in a dog’s body, severely affecting the canine’s intestinal tract and potentially damaging the heart, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Symptoms of the virus include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, fever and a lack of appetite.
Congero, who reported the outbreak to the city, said all the parvo cases in South Lake Tahoe have so far involved non-vaccinated dogs. She recommends contacting a veterinarian immediately upon notice of parvo symptoms and notifying the animal hospital in advance of any parvo-related concerns, as different treatment procedures are taken for the virus.
Parvo vaccinations are available, and they are a simple way for dogs to avoid the disease, according to the Humane Society. For those who can’t afford the shots, however, dog owners can call Lake Tahoe Humane Society at 530-542-2857 for possible assistance.