Serious outbreak of canine parvovirus reported in Butler County


The Butler County Dog Warden & Humane Officers, which operate under the auspices of the sheriff’s department, warn against an outbreak of canine parvovirus

By Emily Gentry

The Butler County Dog Warden & Humane Officers warn that a serious strain of canine parvovirus, that can have a deadly outcome for dogs, has flared up in the county. 

Canine parvovirus, also known as CPV, is a highly contagious virus that typically affects the gastrointestinal system of dogs. Puppies are especially susceptible to getting the often-fatal canine virus and should receive the vaccination at a young age. 

Some common symptoms of CPV are lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, bloating, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and rapid dehydration. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek veterinary attention.  

Kurt Merbs, Butler County’s lead dog warden, said that the Hamilton area has had the biggest surge of dogs with CPV and suggests that dog owners get their pets vaccinated immediately. 

The dog wardens saw over 10 dogs with CPV in the last few weeks, Merbs said. The infected dogs included owned dogs as well as strays. Merbs said that six out of 10 infected dogs did not survive, even with veterinary treatment. 

According to veterinarian and Oxford City Council Member Chantel Raghu, a certified veterinarian should professionally administer the vaccination, to ensure the highest efficacy of the vaccine. The CPV vaccination is inexpensive, typically under $20, said Raghu. The vaccination is a set of three shots. According to the American Kennel Club, “puppies should receive these vaccinations at 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age.”

Treatment for CPV includes constant fluid administration, an expensive bill, without the guarantee that your dog could survive. “CPV is very tough-and-go, even with vet care there’s no guarantee your dog will recover” said Merbs. 

CPV can spread through direct contact with infected dogs or by a contaminated object such as toys or fecal matter. Some dog breeds are more prone to CPV infection including Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, and Labrador retrievers. 

Although many dog parks and dog-watching services suggest the immunization, the rabies vaccination is the only legally required immunization for dogs, said Raghu.

For more information, contact the county dog warden’s office.