West Michigan dog contracts ‘Parvo’ virus despite vaccinations

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- - DJ Steven was a healthy 11-month-old Shar-Pei this time a week ago. Now his owner says he's recovering from Parvo, a virus that almost cost him his life.

DJ's owner, Jen Harasim, says that her dog had successfully completed his vaccinations for Parvo, but caught the bug anyways.

Blue Pearl veterinarian Amanda Conkling says that the vaccination isn't 100 percent effective and that she sees cases of Parvo in vaccinated dogs regularly. Parvo can be deadly in just two days.

“It can come as a big surprise to owners. They’ve done everything correctly, and their dog still gets the virus,” veterinarian Amanda Conkling said.

Dogs typically contract the virus through contact with other pet waste. Parvo can live in the ground for 5-6 months, or longer. The best way to kill the virus is bleach.

Symptoms in your dog include severe vomiting and diarrhea.

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  • Sara

    As a veterinary technician I am very disappointed in this story.
    So many details are lacking in this story & does not prove anything yet. It is only going to cause panic & distrust in our good quality, well studied veterinary vaccines.
    I would like to see proof of his vaccine history before believing this. Who gave the vaccines? What vaccine was used? What are the dates it was given?
    There are so many factors going in to the phrase “up to date on vaccines”. Anybody can buy the vaccine & give it to their dog. That doesn’t ensure it was handled/stored properly, given properly or that it was even a good vaccine.

  • EJ

    Wrong information reported in this story. As a veterinarian in Grand Rapids, this is NOT what we see on a regular basis, and when discussing with all of the doctors at our hospital, we have seen no cases of Parvo virus in fully vaccinated dogs. I reached out to the Dr. Kristopher Sharpe, medical director at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, and in fact, they also do NOT see dogs with Parvo on a regular basis that completed their vaccine series with their vet. We use excellent vaccines that use the most current vaccine technology to provide the best and most comfortable protection. No vaccine is 100% protective, but this vaccine series is a true life saver. Was the Shar Pei in this story vaccinated with a local veterinarian? Did you talk to DJ’s vet? Curious why you spoke to a surgeon for information on this contagious disease?

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