NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon-area animal clinic is warning people about the dangers of parvovirus after it treated 10 dogs within four days.

Big Lake Animal Clinic reminded the dog owners about the importance of vaccination. Parvo can be fatal for dogs and often requires emergency care, Alexis Robertson, the executive director of the clinic, said.

“You’re going to notice immediately they become lethargic. They’re going to stop eating and then the onset of vomiting and diarrhea. They generally are likely to die within 24 to 48 hours of contracting it,” Robertson said.

The clinic said it treated the 10 dogs last week. Some did not survive.

Robertson said the spike in patients has veterinarians concerned.

“We average about one parvo case a month so having 10 of them within a one-week span, we were running all over the place trying to treat these dogs and it really feels like an unnecessary virus that’s spreading in West Michigan when the vaccine is so readily available for everyone,” Robertson said.

The cost of care for parvo can be very expensive.

“When you’re an owner and you have to take your pet to an emergency, we often get owner surrenders because they cannot afford the treatment of their pet,” Robertson said. “I had personally a foster dog in December that was owner surrendered due to being positive for parvo and they were quoted 10,000 to $12,000 for treatment at an emergency center. … It’s a very unrealistic amount for the average person to afford when the vaccine is $20 to $30.”

If your dog is not vaccinated for parvo, you can check with your vet or local humane society to get the shot or buy one from a farming supply store.

“Do not take your dog out and about if it’s not fully vaccinated. We’re just one small clinic seeing that many cases in one week. I can only imagine what all the other clinics are seeing and treating. Unfortunately, I’m sure a lot of dogs have passed just over the last few weeks of parvo when it could have easily been prevented,” Robertson said.

Big Lake Animal Clinic will hold a vaccine drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 10.