ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque shelter workers are concerned about a spike in case of parvo, a very contagious and potentially deadly virus affecting dogs.
Animal Humane officials said in recent months they have seen an increase in the number of phone calls related to canine parvovirus .
"We've been seeing probably, at least in terms of phone calls, 20 phone calls a week with parvo-like symptoms from clients on the phone," Animal Humane Veterinarian Rebecca Yarne said.
Compare that to about five calls a week earlier this year.
Animal Humane says the spike started in June and doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Yarne said for the entire year of 2011, the shelter tested a total of 40 dogs for parvo. So far this year, they've almost doubled that with 75. Veterinarians believe that number should be higher.
"We've had clients who have shown up with their dogs unable to afford hospitalization and walk their animal home," Yarne said.
Yarne said that is an even bigger concern.
"Often these animals are very likely to die at home," Yarne said.
Yarne also said there is no telling where that dog went after leaving the shelter. Since, parvo can live in the ground for months, one infected dog, even after it dies, could infect a lot of others.
"It comes in waves," Yarne said. "I had a dog that I thought was going to die it was so ill, but about a week after that dog pulled through."
Animal Humane believes the spike in potential cases could be a result of dog owners not vaccinating their puppies due to the cost.
Shelter workers also worry that after dogs are infected the owner may not be cleaning yards or homes properly with bleach water to kill the virus.
Animal Humane holds a vaccination clinic the first Friday of every month with reduced prices. Information is posted on the Animal Humane New Mexico website.
Three Albuquerque veterans remember vividly the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War II 72 years ago Saturday.
After getting out of federal prison early this week it looks like former state Sen. Manny Aragón isn't at a halfway house after all. He's back at his own house in the South Valley.
The owner and an employee of a local smoke shop are in federal custody accused of selling spice at the Rio Rancho store.
The New Mexico State Police officer who fired his weapon at van filled with kids during a traffic stop gone bad has been fired.
The civil case filed against former cop Levi Chavez in the gunshot death of his wife is coming to an end without a trial.
Could there be a serial dog snatcher in Roswell?