Providence officials are warning dog owners that canine parvovirus is spreading around the city.
Police say outbreaks of the virus were reported in the Wanskuck area of Providence in July and have spread to other areas.
Veterinarians say canine parvovirus, or "parvo," weakens dogs' immune systems and causes them to become more susceptible to infection. Symptoms of the virus include vomiting and diarrhea that can lead to possibly fatal dehydration in some cases.
Officials say parvo doesn't affect humans or other pets but can be severe in dogs that are not immune or have not been vaccinated.
Police say the best strategy is to vaccinate dogs against the virus because other treatments can be expensive and not always as effective.