Trenton offers free vaccine to protect city dogs from potentially deadly Parvovirus
A vaccine is being offered for free by the Trenton Animal Shelter to protect city dogs from the potentially deadly Parvovirus, and so far, at least a dozen dogs in the city, mostly puppies under six months of age, have been infected.
Officials say at least eight of the dogs have been hospitalized. The warning signs include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, fever, and lethargy. Puppies under six months of age are especially vulnerable.
“Puppies’ immune systems are most sensitive and delicate and that’s why the puppies always have to get their first vaccinations and the parvovirus vaccinations or one of those vaccinations that puppies need to get,” says Jose Gabriel Munoz, Trenton Animal Shelter manager.
The fecal-borne virus can live on various surfaces for weeks to months and attacks the gastrointestinal system and bone marrow of infected dogs.
“It’s a gastro virus that is lethal in about 90% of the cases, it’s really painful,” says Mayor Reed Gusciora.
Parvovirus is very expensive to treat, around $3,000, but can be avoided with a vaccine. Untreated infections face a 90% mortality rate. Vaccines are administered in a series of three shots over 12 weeks.
“The issue is a lot of people don’t know how to deal with the situation and they get scared or they’ve never seen these types of side effects or diseases in their pets before and it pushes them to abandon their pets,” says Munoz.
The clinics will be every Thursday and Friday from today through the end of July between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the animal shelter on 72 Escher St. No appointment is necessary. Residents should bring all current vaccination information if any is available, as well as proof of residency.