Parvo Vaccine Clinics Help Battle Deadly Disease

Word first came to Dakin at the end of August this past summer; there had recently been two cases of parvovirus reported in Springfield, and one in Chicopee. With memories of the summer of 2022’s local outbreak of the deadly disease, plans were immediately made for a series of parvo vaccine clinics at Dakin, beginning on September 29, and running weekly for several weeks following.

“We wanted to get ahead of what had happened last year around this time, when Dakin also held parvovirus vaccine clinics to protect the health of community dogs,” noted Executive Director Meg Talbert. “There were many more cases reported, many more dogs who became ill, and Dakin ended up vaccinating 400 dogs over the course of a half dozen clinics. We’re holding our 2023 clinics because we don’t want to see parvo attack as many dogs as it did before.”

Dakin’s current parvovirus vaccine clinics are available for residents of Springfield, Chicopee and Holyoke. The cost per vaccine is $20. By law, a Rabies vaccine is required for all dogs unless a valid certificate is provided at the time of appointment. Only healthy dogs will be vaccinated; if your dog is showing symptoms of parvovirus, please seek immediate veterinary care.

Parvovirus, if left untreated, can have a 90% mortality rate for dogs. According to Veterinary Services Manager Mary Jane McGuire, many of the people who brought their dogs to the Dakin clinics expressed gratitude for the quick availability of the lifesaving vaccine. One of them was Felony, an eight-year-old Bichon who battled parvo seven years ago. “It was really nice to see a dog that survived something so serious thriving and being part of a family for so many years,” Mary Jane noted.

Another patient, Koby, arrived with his person, an EMT who was in her uniform immediately following a long overnight shift. “She was so happy that the appointment worked in with her schedule,” said Mary Jane. “She wanted Koby to get his vaccines ASAP because she recently adopted him and didn’t know his previous medical history.”

The curbside parvo clinics are being held outside in front of Dakin’s building at 171 Union Street in Springfield. Dogs and drivers are able to stay comfortably in their vehicles until they are ready to be seen, which keeps the clinic running in a timely manner, keeps reactive dogs from being in contact with other dogs, and prevents the “vet anxiety” which can affect dogs waiting inside at clinics.

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