By Juliette Goodrich

PLEASANTON (CBS SF) — Pet ownership has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, but veterinarians and animal control officials issued a warning Friday about sick puppies being sold at makeshift roadside adoption operations in Alameda County.

Many of the puppies are turning up at local vet clinics suffering from canine parvovirus — a highly contagious, deadly illness that can quickly spread among a litter if their living conditions are not carefully monitored.

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During the pandemic, as the pet ownership soared, it has led to people selling puppies out of their vehicles on the side of the road and in parking lots.

Veterinarians warn of the heartbreak if you don’t adopt your new pet from a reputable breeder, shelter or rescue organization.

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“A couple of days later, you might find that you have a very sick puppy on your hand,” said Dr. Coleen Dossey with Town and Country Veterinary Hospital. ” “Parvo is highly contagious and can be a very deadly virus and spread from dog to dog.”

Animal control officials said a recent incident happened along Airway Boulevard in Livermore. Maltipoo puppies that were sold for $450 turned out to be infected with parvo.

A puppy suffering from parvo is a very sick dog. Veterinarians said the sooner the illness is diagnosed and treated, the more likely the puppy will return to good health.

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The symptoms of parvo in puppies include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Depression

Juliette Goodrich