The Investigators

May 15, 2013 2:42 AM by Matthew Schwartz

Is your dog's Parvo vaccine effective?

TUCSON - Bill Rancour of Marana has had Rottweilers for 20 years. He breeds them. Rancour has three Rotties now. He had five until recently. Tilly was six months old when she died on May 4th.

Rancour told us, "It breaks your heart to lose a pet."

Bill's heart was broken again this past Sunday, Mother's day, when his other six-month old Rottweiler, Bella, also died. Bella and Tilly died from Parvovirus, the highly contagious disease that's transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog's fecal matter. the symptoms are lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.

Justin Gallick is an animal care advocate with the Pima County Animal care center. He says the number one reason for Parvo is people not fully vaccinating their pets.

"It's very crucial that people get their pets vaccinated. getting a puppy and having one vaccination is not complete. There is a series of three to four, every three to four weeks. and then an annual booster for adults after that."

Bill Rancour gave his puppies all the necessary vaccinations; he injected them himself after buying the vaccines from a local store.

Rancour told us, "If the shots were any good, they wouldn't have got Parvo.

Bill is convinced the store sold him bad vaccines, that something was wrong between manufacturing, shipping and storage, that maybe it wasn't refrigerated long enough or cold enough, or was otherwise mishandled. But we could not obtain any proof of that so we're not mentioning the store's name.

Animal care experts say if you buy your dog's vaccinations from a pharmacy or feed store, ask the pharmacist about the storage process, specifically if the vaccines have been constantly refrigerated at about 40 degrees.

Gallick says, "Our recommendation is always going to be veterinarians. There are local veteranarians that hold weekly shot clinics, in some cases daily shot clinics, where people can purchase the vaccine for ten to 12 dollars apiece. Please vaccinate your pets. That ten to 12 dollars can save their lives."

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona offers clinics three times a week with veterinarians giving 4-in-1 vaccinations for only $10.

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