UNION COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT)- As the Corn Festival continues in Morganfield this weekend, Union County Animal Control is urging everyone to keep their dogs at home.

The shelter says an unusually lethal strain of the parvovirus has already sickened and killed several dogs.

“This particular strain is very difficult on puppies and adult dogs,” says Kathy Baird.

Baird is the Animal Service Director at the shelter and says she has talked with other shelters in the Tri-State. She says they they typically see an increase in parvovirus cases at the end of the summer- but adds this year is different. As the virus mutates, it is harder for the vaccine to protect against the illness. Even if a dog is vaccinated, Baird says the virus can still kill.

“They are having better luck if they are vaccinated and they are adults. However, we had a case here in the last couple of days where a two-year-old dog who had at least one parvo vaccination and did not make it,” Baird says.

Baird says younger dogs who are not vaccinated can die within hours of contacting the virus. The disease is highly contagious and is spread through bodily fluids like feces, urine, and sharing food and water bowls.

“You are going to look for dogs who are lethargic. Diarrhea is definitely a sign you should look for. And throwing up, and I am not talking about like the dog bolting their food down and then upchucking. I am talking about it is almost a frothy clear bile and then it turns into yellow bile,” Baird says.

The shelter says early treatment is the key to survival. If you notice that your dog seems off or is not feeling well, take them to the vet.