Pro­tect pooches from par­vovirus

Central and North Burnett Times - - MONTO VETERINARY SERVICES - Monto Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices

IN JUNE last year, a huge spike in the num­ber of cases of ca­nine par­vovirus in the North Bur­nett killed more than 50 dogs in a two-month pe­riod.

Par­vovirus is a highly con­ta­gious, deadly disease that at­tacks the in­testi­nal tract and heart of dogs and un­for­tu­nately more than 80% of dogs that con­tracted the disease last year died from it.

Par­vovirus is spread in the fae­ces and vomit of in­fected dogs and is par­tic­u­larly hardy, re­main­ing in the en­vi­ron­ment for up to a year.

It is also eas­ily trans­mit­ted via the hair or feet of in­fected dogs, con­tam­i­nated shoes, clothes, in the soil or on car tyres etc.

Symp­toms of par­vovirus in­fec­tion in­clude: pale gums, fever, lethargy, vom­it­ing and bloody di­ar­ro­hea, but it is im­por­tant to note that many dogs may not show every clin­i­cal sign.

Dogs that de­velop the disease show symp­toms of the ill­ness within three to 10 days of ex­po­sure.

In later stages of in­fec­tion, dogs ex­hibit a dis­tinc­tive odour and if not treated of­ten go into shock and die.

Par­vovirus may af­fect dogs of all ages but it is most com­mon in dogs less than two years old.

Di­ag­no­sis of the virus is made with a de­tec­tion kit us­ing your an­i­mal’s fae­ces.

This test takes up to 10 min­utes and can be done im­me­di­ately at a vet clinic.

The sur­vival rate from par­vovirus de­pends on how quickly the disease is di­ag­nosed, the age of the an­i­mal and how ag­gres­sive the treat­ment is.

Hospi­tal treat­ment is aimed at cor­rect­ing de­hy­dra­tion and pro­tect­ing the stom­ach lin­ing. In se­vere cases, dogs may need a blood trans­fu­sion.

Preven­tion is the only way to en­sure your dog re­mains healthy.

Pup­pies re­ceive a par­vovirus vaccination as part of their vac­cine regime, which should be­gin at six to eight weeks of age.

The vac­cine takes up to two weeks to reach ef­fec­tive lev­els of im­mu­nity, so dur­ing this pe­riod a puppy’s con­tact with other dogs and pub­lic en­vi­ron­ments should be lim­ited.

Af­ter the ini­tial puppy vac­ci­na­tions, all adult dogs re­quire a yearly booster.

PRO­TECT YOUR PUP: Vets rec­om­mend vac­ci­nat­ing against the deadly par­vovirus.

Now is the time to en­sure your dogs and pups have been vac­ci­nated. PHO­TOS: FILE

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