Clinics in Lawrence and Methuen will offer free dog vaccinations in the wake of a parvovirus outbreak that has caused the deaths of over a dozen dogs in the past two weeks.
Parvovirus affects the intestinal tracts of the dogs, and is highly contagious and deadly. It can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that has come into contact with an infected dog’s feces.
Symptoms of parvovirus include vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea. If dog owners believe their dogs may be suffering from this virus, they should contact their veterinarian immediately.
All of the dogs that have died from the parvovirus were not vaccinated, said Mike Cahill, director of Massachusetts Division of Animal Health.
“If the animals were vaccinated, they would have been protected,” Cahill said. “The vaccines are very effective.”
Vaccines at local clinics will be offered for free, and a residents in Lawrence and Lowell are eligible.
Vaccines will be offered at these locations:
Methuen Animal Care and Adoption Center at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway in Methuen on Thursday, Aug. 21. and Friday, Aug 22. from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
South Common Park, in Lawrence, on Sunday, Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Central Catholic School, 300 Hampshire St., Lawrence, on Sunday, Aug. 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Lowell has been the source of the serious parvovirus outbreak, where at least 15 dogs in this town have died due to the virus. Cahill said he is working on offering vaccination clinics in Lowell.
Before attending the vaccination clinics, pet owners should check with their veterinarians to confirm their animals’ vaccination status, Cahill said.
Massachusetts Homeless Animal Fund a program within the state’s Department of Agricultural resources will cover all vaccination costs, says MCVB.com.
Photo credit: Paige McAtee