Vaccine shortage halts dog adoptions 

Adoption of dogs at the Calcasieu Parish Animal Services shelter has been halted until a vaccine can be obtained to treat a strain of canine parvovirus.

The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/qjfACs) that animal services director Nathan Areno put adoptions on hold after staff discovered available vaccines were insufficient to treat the virus, which was affecting animals at the shelter. He said the shelter is working with the LSU School of Medicine on an updated vaccine.

Once it's ready, Areno said, the dogs will receive the vaccine and be held for observation for 10 days. He said the shelter hopes to resume adoptions after the waiting period.

Areno said the shelter experiences such problems because it doesn't turn animals away. "It's not really a cleaning issue or something like that," he said. "It happens from time to time."

Dr. John Emerson of University Animal Clinic agreed, saying that the virus, which is shed in a dog's feces, can spread easily when animals are close together.

Emerson said the virus is treatable and up to 80 percent of dogs survive parvo if treated, he said.

He said the virus was identified in the late 1970s.

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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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