Canine Parvovirus confirmed in Fort St. John

September 16, 2020

The City of Fort St. John and the North Peace BC SPCA Branch remind residents to ensure their pets are vaccinated against parvovirus, or parvo, after two dogs-at-large tested positive recently. These dogs were in the area of the Off-Leash Dog Park on September 10 and 12, 2020, and may have had contact with other animals.

Parvovirus, or parvo, is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease that attacks the gastrointestinal system of dogs and can also damage the heart muscle. This virus is resistant to many disinfectants and lingers on surfaces and in the ground for several months. Dogs typically pick up the virus by coming into contact with feces or vomit from an infected animal. Puppies and non-vaccinated adult dogs are most at risk of the illness.

“All dogs must be licensed and immunized to use the Off-Leash Dog Park to ensure the safety of all users. These cases reinforce the need to be a responsible pet owner and ensure your pet’s immunizations are current,” stated Darrell Blades, Director of Public Safety and Fire Chief with the City of Fort St. John.

“Canine parvovirus is a severe disease, but fortunately, it’s easy to protect dogs with basic vaccinations. Puppies need a series of vaccines starting at around eight weeks of age, and adult dogs need regular boosters. Pet guardians should talk to their vet about the exact schedule and vaccines that are right for their dog’s lifestyle and risk,” said Dr. Emilia Gordon, Senior Manager of Animal Health with the BC SPCA.

Symptoms, appearing within three to seven days, include:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, keep your pet away from other animals and seek immediate veterinarian help. 


Media Contacts:
Ryan Harvey
City of Fort St. John 
Communications Coordinator
250 794 3313

Candace Buchamer
North Peace Branch Manager
250 785 7722