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Thread: Parvo Outbreak in the Interior region

  1. #1
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    Default Parvo Outbreak in the Interior region

    FYI, the Fairbanks Daily News Miner is running a story concerning the higher incidence of Parvovirus in dogs in interior Alaska. Would pay to keep up on vaccines and keep your dogs away from other dogs for awhile. Watch closely for symptoms.

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    I know at least one team who's been knocked out of Iditarod because of sick dogs.

    From a local veterinarian who worked Yukon Quest a few weeks ago: "We have Parvo from old Murphy dome to Cantwell with deaths in adult and vaccinated dogs, but mostly pups. The catch is that, as far as I know, all the adult illness has been in home vaccinated dogs.The last I heard there were less than 20 deaths, and mostly young pups. We did test suspected parvo cases during quest, and all were negative!!"
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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    Is there a difference in the vaccine that the Vet has? Why are only home vaccinated dogs getting it? Bad vaccine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Is there a difference in the vaccine that the Vet has? Why are only home vaccinated dogs getting it? Bad vaccine?
    Only guessing here but I think it has to do with skill - making sure the vaccine is mixed well, injected properly (without shooting half of the contents of the syringe on a squirmng dog's coat, etc.). I do my own vaccinations (other than rabies) and have definitely biffed a few.
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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    Anyone with an idea on how long such an epidemic lasts? My dogs don't hang with other dogs, but they run along the dike where other dogs go. I may shoot off a note to the state vet about this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim McCann View Post
    Anyone with an idea on how long such an epidemic lasts? My dogs don't hang with other dogs, but they run along the dike where other dogs go. I may shoot off a note to the state vet about this.
    The virus can live in the soil for as long as 7 years and isn't killed by freezing. There is dog poop everywhere in Two Rivers and a few years ago I had a 12-week-old puppy develop parvo after a short walk from the kennel where he was born to my place. He recovered fully (he'd already had his first shots), and no other dog of mine has developed parvo since, despite Otter having exposed us all to it. We had a litter two years ago and none of the puppies got sick, although we did keep them quite far from the other dogs (and indoors, in our guest cabin) and were diligent about shots and cleanliness. What I'm hearing from local vets (and so far I've talked with 4 of them) is that as long as your dogs are mature and current on their shots, you should be fine.

    (also, turns out the issue with home-administered vaccinations is that there are varying levels of potency, and the most effective vaccinations require scrupulous handling and refrigeration so the ones sold at Cold Spot and so on tend to be of the less-effective variety).
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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    Thank you, Ma'am. Scary stuff. I've roaded and trained my dogs along the dike for 25 years or more, back when I was all alone out there. Not so any longer and it has me worried all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim McCann View Post
    Thank you, Ma'am. Scary stuff. I've roaded and trained my dogs along the dike for 25 years or more, back when I was all alone out there. Not so any longer and it has me worried all the time.
    It's very frightening. When Otter got sick and I took him to the vet (North Pole) the way that they talked with me about it made it clear that what they were really saying was "We're sorry you're puppy's going to die." Happily he recovered quickly and fully and is a terrific dog. But, it could have easily gone the other way.

    The other thing is that one reason that this strain of parvo is particularly virulent is apparently that it was brought over from Europe, so it's not something that dogs here have been exposed to much. A friend down towards Cantwell had to withdraw from Iditarod when his whole yard got sick. I'm fairly comfortable that with good husbandry (keeping current on vaccinations, a clean dog yard) there's not much to worry about with mature dogs, but if I had pups I'd be very, very concerned. I know a few people who train their dog teams down on the dike, plus there's some weird dog stuff that goes on down there, so I would assume that there's parvo there in addition to the obvious places (Two Rivers, Old Murphy Dome).
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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