Protect pooches from parvovirus
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