There’s an outbreak of parvo in Taney County.
Dr. Amanda McGinty at Shepherd of the Hills Veterinary Clinic in Branson has had two puppy patients die of the virus in less than a week.
She says parvo is a dangerous virus. It's highly contagious and often fatal.
"Just this week, and at the end of last week, we started getting phone calls for sick pets under a year old, sick puppies. [They were] vomiting, not eating, [and experiencing] lethargy," Dr. McGinty said.
Those are often signs of canine parvovirus, or parvo.
"We've had three tested confirmed," Dr. McGinty said.
With that many positive cases in less than seven days, it's considered an outbreak. She says it looks like these recent cases came from an area where families with animals share common outdoor space, where the virus can spread easily.
"It's horrible to watch a puppy suffer," Shepherd of the Hills Humane Society Executive Director Michele Bourk said.
Bourk says at the Humane Society they're constantly guarding against the bug by putting puppies in isolation until they're vaccinated.
"They just don't get to go outside and go on the grass and the common areas where they can be exposed to that parvo," Bourk said.
Plus, at the vet clinic, they're careful to keep things extra clean.
"We step in the bleach and step out. That way it ensures there's no contaminants even on our shoes," Dr. McGinty said.
She says, in light of the the recent outbreak, pet owners should make sure their pups are protected by the parvo vaccine and see a vet if they're pets show signs of not feeling up to par.
"We don't want to lose any more of our puppies," Dr. McGinty said.
Dr. McGinty says vaccination is the best protection against parvo. A parvo shot costs about $15 each, plus the cost of an office visit.