A Sudbury veterinarian says she's seen an increase in parvovirus in dogs.

The virus — which is comparable to the Norwalk flu in humans — is spread among dogs through fecal matter.

It can be avoided if dogs receive regular vaccinations, said Sudbury veterinarian Dr. Natalie Patterson.

She said cleaning up after your dog is a good way to prevent spreading the virus.

"It's especially important now that we're going to have a dog park in Sudbury," she said.

"If people are taking … their dogs to the park … make sure that they're fully up to date on their vaccines because it is something that's preventable."

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the symptoms of parvovirus include "lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite and bloody, foul-smelling diarrhea that can lead to life-threatening dehydration."

Patterson noted if dog owners think their pet has the virus, they should take them to a veteranarian immediately for care.