TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A canine virus is making its way through Pets Fur People in Tyler.

“We have had the worst outbreak of parvo that we have ever had in the history of pets fur people,” said Gayle Helms, executive director, Pets Fur People.

Gayle Helms with Pets Fur People says the rescue had 27 dogs dumped at the facility at the end of February and that’s where the sickness began.

“We’ve had 15 cases of parvo and we have lost 8 puppies,” said Helms.

Rose City Animal Clinic owner Dr. Seth Shirey says parvo is like a cold or flu for humans.

“It is similar in every way to viruses, but it attacks the intestinal lining,” said Seth Shirey, owner, Rose City Animal Clinic.

Dr. Shirey says there are 3 symptoms to watch out for in your furry friend. One of the signs is your dog being extremely fatigued.

“The other 2 signs bloody diarrhea and vomiting and parvo symptoms are dramatic, I mean there is no doubt when they get parvo you know they are sick,” said Dr. Shirey.

He adds that once a dog begins showing signs of the virus you need to get to a veterinarian immediately.

“Left untreated it is absolutely a death sentence,” said Dr. Shirey.

Treatment isn’t cheap but Dr. Shirey says it increases the chance of your puppy living.

“It’s just really been a financial burden for us,” said Helms.

Helms says they are doing everything they can do to keep the dogs alive…And to keep the virus from spreading but it’s taking a toll.

“This has been overwhelming for us and to come in and find these babies that have passed away during the night, it’s just devastating for us,” said Helms.

Adding she is just glad the shelter was able to make sure the puppies didn’t face their sickness alone.