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Fayette County Animal Shelter quarantines itself

Parvovirus has struck the Fayette County Animal Shelter. Director Dave Ryckman has started disinfecting the shelter with bleach and other cleaning supplies. The shelter is not taking new dogs until the virus is gone. Parvocan be deadlyand spreads quicklyin pups and dogs. People can donate cleaning suppliesat Tractor Supply Co.andthe Purdue Extension Fayette County.

By LEANA CHOATE - lchoate@newsexaminer.com

Canine parvovirus has struck at the Fayette County Animal Shelter, which is not accepting new dogs for at least 10 days. Disinfection of the shelter is underway. 

Parvo is very serious in puppies. It causes puppies to pass blood in their stool, become dehydrated, lose appetite and become inactive. Untreated, a puppy can die within days.

A puppy that was brought into the Fayette County Animal Shelter had parvo. It can spread quickly in an animal shelter, Dave Ryckman, Fayette County Animal Shelter director, said. 

“It (parvo) spreads just like that,” Ryckman said, snapping his fingers. “It spreads quickly, which is why we are cleaning as much as we can.”

The dogs that were already in the shelter are still there, he said. They have been vaccinated against parvo and dogs over 20 weeks old are at less risk of contracting the illness. 

The animal shelter uses bleach to deep clean the pens. The walls are scrubbed down with mops and scrub brushes.

“You have to clean everything when it comes to parvo,” Ryckman said.

Due to the virus outbreak and for safety precautions, the Animal Shelter isn’t taking any puppies or dogs in from people until  they are sure the virus is gone.

“We’re cleaning every day or every other day for about 10 days, and even after those days are up we’re going to keep an eye on our dogs to make sure the parvo is gone and after that, we will up their vaccines,” Ryckman said. “We’ll do everything it takes to make sure the parvo is gone and our dogs are safe.”

During this time, the Animal Shelter will be using a lot of bleach and cleaning supplies to rid the shelter of the virus. It is accepting donations of cleaning supplies such as paper towels, disinfectant, bleach and dish soap.

“Any kind of disinfectant would be useful,” Ryckman said.

Donations can be left at Tractor Supply Co., 2202 Park Road, and the Purdue Extension Fayette County in the basement of the Fayette County Courthouse, 401 Central Ave.

 Parvo is deadly, but easily preventable with vaccinations. Parvo shots are highly recommend within a puppy’s first six weeks, when a veterinarian determines it is old enough to receive them. 

“If someone has a dog that has recently passed from parvo, do not bring another pup into the house right away. Clean everything, wait until the new pup is old enough and get its shots, and even then, just wait. Parvo can still stick around,” Ryckman said.

Puppies sick with parvo should be taken to the vet right away, Ryckman said. Veterinarians can try to treat the puppy and possibly save its life.