Guilford County Animal Services had an alarming warning for dog owners on Monday, May 6, and asked county residents to take precautions to keep their dogs safe from canine parvovirus – a disease that’s commonly referred to as “parvo.”

Animal Services warns that it is highly contagious and can be spread from dog to dog by contaminated feces and other methods.

Puppies are the dogs most at risk, however, the virus can also affect dogs of any age.

“In the past week, Guilford County Animal Control has received an intake of numerous positive cases of canine parvovirus in dogs living in High Point,”  a May 6 statement from Animal Services warns.  “Cases include puppies infected with the virus from the vicinity of Furlough Avenue to Vine Street, ranging in an approximate one-mile radius. Guilford County Animal Services is isolating infected dogs to reduce the spread of parvo to other canines at the resource center.”

The warning went on to list some symptoms of the disease, such as lethargy, fever and a lack of appetite in the dog.  Other symptoms can include vomiting, severe, diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating.

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, you are being asked to contact a veterinarian immediately since the disease can be deadly within 48 to 72 hours of the first sign of symptoms.

 The good news is that humans can’t get parvovirus from their dogs; however, the bad news is that humans can spread parvo to other dogs through clothes, shoes, hands and other means.

“Vaccination is the top way to avoid canine parvovirus infection,” the statement from the county reads. “It is imperative that dogs are vaccinated against parvovirus at an early age, and that they have appropriate boosters as they grow. It is important to establish a relationship with a veterinarian to maintain protection for your pet for all vaccinations. If an adult dog hasn’t received vaccinations, is overdue, or has missed some, consult with a veterinarian regarding a suitable vaccination plan tailored to the dog’s age and requirements.”

If you want to learn more about canine parvovirus, you can visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website at