Dog owners have been urged to vaccinate their pets after an outbreak of the deadly parvovirus in one Great Southern town, with three cases reported in just a week.
Dog owners have been warned to vaccinate their pets against the deadly parvovirus after three cases were recorded in Katanning last week.
Katanning Vet Clinic veterinarian Rebecca Lambert said parvovirus was more prevalent in summer, so it was startling to see cases already.
“Usually we see a flare-up of cases in warm wet months, as it is more prevalent over summer but the fact that we just had warm weather last week and it’s been really wet and we’ve already had cases is really worrying,” she said.
The three cases treated last week all came out of Wagin.
However, Dr Lambert is urging all dog owners to get their animals treated properly.
“Parvovirus is a really resistant strong virus and it can live in the environment for six to 12 months after the infected dog has been there,” she said.
“If you haven’t done your vaccination course properly as a puppy then your dog could still pick it up.”
Dogs who contract the virus can die within a number of days if left untreated, and even with treatment, acting quickly is crucial.
“You’ve got to be aggressive with treatment and you’ve got to treat quickly — whether or not treatment is successful depends on the age and health of the dog,” she said.
“Symptoms include diarrhoea and vomiting that can be quite bloody, and the dog gets really lethargic and quiet.”
If you are unsure if your dog has been vaccinated against the disease, you can have your dog blood-tested. “Vaccination 100 per cent prevents parvovirus,” Dr Lambert said.
Vet Rebecca Lambert gives Ebony her vaccination.