Parvo Closure and FAQ


What is happening right now at Calgary Humane Society?

We had two dogs come into our shelter on the afternoon of April 24 from out of town. One showed serious symptoms of Canine Parvovirus and when tested came back positive for the disease. The other dog that came in with the first dog was immediately tested and also came back positive for parvo. Both cases were fairly advanced and the decision was made to humanely euthanize them so they did not suffer further.

What is parvo?

Canine Parvovirus (aka “Parvo”) is a virus that can cause severe inflammation of the intestines in canines. The virus infects cells of the intestine leading to structural changes that prevent dogs from properly absorbing nutrients.

Canine parvovirus is a dangerous and extraordinarily contagious virus that spreads easily between unvaccinated dogs. If not caught early and treated aggressively parvovirus infection can be lethal.

What are the symptoms of Canine Parvovirus?

Severe vomiting and diarrhea (often bloody) and lack of appetite are common symptoms of canine parvovirus infection. Affected dogs usually develop signs of extreme lethargy (lack of energy), depression and dehydration with fever. Leukopenia (low white blood cells) can often be seen on blood work. In severe cases death can occur rapidly. Symptoms of canine parvovirus will typically develop after an incubation period of 3-10 days in infected dogs. Dog with suspected canine parvovirus exposure should be carefully monitored for symptoms.

What dogs are most at risk of Canine Parvovirus infection?

Unvaccinated dogs are at risk for canine parvovirus. Puppies and immune compromised dogs are at particular risk. Vaccinations are very effective in preventing canine parvovirus infection but puppies who have not completed their full vaccine series and newly vaccinated (vaccinated less than 10-14 days prior to exposure) may still be at risk of infection.

Is this an outbreak?

No this is not an outbreak. The disease at this point has been contained and we do not have any other animals who are exhibiting symptoms. We are continuing to deep clean, quarantine and monitor our animals to ensure this remains the case.

Don’t you vaccinate on intake?

We do however the vaccine takes at least a few days to take effect. The dogs in this case had already developed the disease and therefore the vaccine was not effective for them.

Why did you close your shelter?

As an organization we take in the most vulnerable animals, often with no information on their history or previous care therefore we closed our shelter in order to best protect the public and our animals. We have done a full deep clean of every corner of the shelter and are doing additional deep cleaning over the coming days. We have quarantined all of our animals in holding to reduce any chance of the disease spreading. This closure was mainly a precautionary measure as we take the health of our animals and the health of the public very seriously.

When will you reopen?

We have heard some confusion as to how long we will be closed. We anticipate opening within the next few days however we want to ensure the health and safety of our animals and the public’s therefore we will only open when we feel very confident it is safe to do so. We will post all of our reopening information on our website and social media.

I adopted a dog from you or attended training classes there recently, is my dog at risk?

Parvovirus is in the community and can be contracted from a dog park or on the street. The two dogs that came in with parvo were restricted to our holding area and did not have any access to our dog park, training areas or adoptions area therefore the risk to the public is minimal.

I was at the shelter yesterday, am I at risk?

The risk to any members of the public or animals in our adoptions area is very low and we are closing the shelter as a precaution. The risk to any vaccinated dogs is also extremely low however if you are concerned you are encouraged to contact your veterinarian.

How can the public help?

Right now we are asking members of the public to be patient with us as we work to clean and care for our animals. We will continue to communicate via our website and social media if we do need any additional supplies and will also let you know once we reopen to the public.

What should I do to protect my dog from parvo?

Vaccination is the best way to protect your dog from contracting parvo virus.

If l find a stray animal where should I take it? 

We will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, if you have found a stray please bring them to your nearest veterinary clinic or the City of Calgary. If you have an animal to surrender, please either hold on to them or contact us for an appointment in the future.






Blog PetSecure

Bringing a furry friend into your life is a hugely exciting time! Among the top thoughts on many soon-to-be pet owner’s minds are all the fun things to do and buy: pretty leashes, cool collars, a comfortable bed, a healthy diet, fun toys and tasty treats. Along with the fun also comes the responsibility of pet-ownership including finding a good veterinarian, licensing, identification and training. Unfortunately, in the midst of all the excitement and preparation, even the most organized, loving and dedicated pet owners often overlook one crucial piece of advice: the value of pet health insurance. Pet health insurance can be an invaluable way to plan for health expenses should your pet become sick or injured. Sadly, the reality of not planning for unexpected veterinary expenses means many owners each year face very difficult, and often heartbreaking, choices. (more…)

Hearing Loss in Senior Pets

Hearing Loss


There are a wide number of reasons why a pet might become deaf and while some have to do with age, many do not. Pets can be deaf from birth due to a physical abnormality or genetic issue (in some breeds certain white coat genes are linked to deafness) while younger pets can develop hearing loss in response to ear infections, certain viruses (like canine distemper), waxy build up or trauma.

For senior pets, some of the most common types of hearing loss seen are the result of changes to the nervous system or physical structures of the ear, exposure to medication or chronic ear infections. Like humans, as animals age they experience age-related changes in their bodies. Age-related hearing loss is also referred to as presbycusis and will normally affect both ears. These age-related hearing changes are normally the result of changes to the auditory nerve (the nerve that carries signals from the ear to the brain), the loss of the tiny hair cells that move in the ear as your hear (stereocilia) or a change in the function of either the inner ear bones or the eardrum.

In addition to these age-related changes, senior pets may also experience hearing loss due to medications. Certain types of chemotherapy, antibiotics and diuretic drugs have been known to cause hearing loss. It is important to note, however, that is your veterinarian is prescribing a medication that may cause hearing loss it would normally be in response to a far more serious condition and you should not stop giving your pet the medication without first speaking with your vet. Another common reason for hearing loss in senior pets can be an obstruction (blockage) in the ear canal. This could be the result of scar tissue from chronic ear infections or it may be caused by a build-up of wax and fur in the ear canal. All cases of suspected hearing loss should be seen by your vet as early as possible so your vet can examine your pet and determine what, if any, treatment is needed.


So what do you do if your cherished friend loses their hearing with age? Here are a few tips…


Senior pets: what are they?


Good morning CHS Supporters!

November marks senior pet month here at Calgary Humane Society! Today on the blog, we’re bringing you a frequently asked question… what makes a pet a senior pet anyway?

Why do we need to know when our animals are considered ‘seniors’?  (more…)

Meet Amaya: A Calgary Humane Society Foster Story

Meet Amaya

Amaya is a sweet puppy who needs a little extra care before she finds her forever home. We want to share her journey with you, so follow our weekly blog series as this girl heals and grows in our Foster ProgramPlease note: Amaya is not available for adoption at this time. 


Once people find out I work for Calgary Humane Society, the first question I usually get asked is, “So, do you get to snuggle puppies and kittens all day?” No, this is usually not my job, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t get to do this sometimes. Yes, puppies and kittens are adorable, but animals that need some extra love and care is where I really like to focus my attention.

The Foster program was a no brainer for me. My partner took a little bit more convincing, especially after a few of the singleton kittens I brought home, but I think we have really gotten the hang of having an extra little fur ball in the house. We already have two dogs, a three year old boxer and a 15 year old pit bull/boxer cross, and a cat, but “What is one more animal” I said. Later, those words would come to bite me in the butt. (more…)

All about dog noses!




Hello Calgary Humane Supporters! October is dog month at the shelter, and we hope you’re enjoying all of our fun doggy facts. Today on the blog we have decided to talk about… your pooch’s nose!

Yep, that’s right, it’s all about the schnoz today. We’re bringing you the cute, the cool and the curious about the canine olfactory system. (more…)

All About Amputations

all about amputations



Hello CHS Supporters!

We hope you have all enjoyed learning a little more about Xena the pitbull puppy! We’ve had a few questions come in about limb amputations and how we decide what care to provide at Calgary Humane Society, so today we are hosting a bit of a Q&A!  (more…)

Can Pets Sweat?

do pets sweat
Good morning Calgary Humane Society supporters!

We hope you had a great summer full of sun, heat and all the other great things that summer brings!

Today we bring you an interesting question that we hear from time to time at Calgary Humane Society: Can our pets sweat? If not, how do they beat the heat?


Protection & Investigations Series Part 2: Medical Neglect

medical neglect

Medical neglect is one of the more complex issues investigated by Calgary Humane Society Peace Officers. CHS has seen a steady increase of cases in recent years: 115 in 2010, 139 in 2011, 149 in 2012 and 192 in 2014.

With a pet, comes the responsibility of providing veterinary care. Annual physical exams are recommended and are a great way to ensure your pet is in good health. Illnesses and other issues are more likely to be caught if you are taking your pet to a vet on a regular basis. (more…)

Cool Cats: Claw edition!

colo cats claws

Hello Calgary Humane Society Supporters!

We hope you are loving this sunshine-filled cat month here on the blog! Summer marks the busiest season for cats at Calgary Humane Society so we can’t think of a better month to cast the spotlight onto our feline friends.

Today on the blog we tackle one of the most frequently asked question about feline attributes: Claws! Learn more about how cats use them and why Calgary Humane Society believes in leaving those claws firmly attached to the cat! (more…)