Warn­ing to dog own­ers over par­vovirus

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - ■ Bran­wen Smith

Dog own­ers in Ex­mouth are be­ing urged by Ex­mouth Vet Clinic to be vig­i­lant about vac­ci­nat­ing their pets against par­vovirus af­ter vet Megan Gall treated a puppy for the virus.

Par­vovirus is com­mon across the Pil­bara and in other towns in the Gas­coyne, but Ex­mouth Vet Clinic had only treated one case from Onslow last year un­til nine­week-old puppy Wil­low de­vel­oped symp­toms of the dis­ease. Wil­low has since made a full re­cov­ery.

The highly in­fec­tious par­vovirus is passed on through fae­ces and vomit, and can re­main in­fec­tious on the ground for a long time.

Wil­low’s owner re­quested to re­main anony­mous, but he said he got Wil­low from Carnar­von and spent sev­eral days camp­ing at Red Bluff, War­roora Sta­tion and Co­ral Bay on his way home to Ex­mouth.

Wil­low had re­ceived her first vac­ci­na­tion but was not old enough to have com­pleted the three-dose course, which fin­ishes when the puppy is 16 weeks old.

Af­ter Wil­low’s owner re­turned to Ex­mouth, he no­ticed she stopped eat­ing and had lost her nor­mal bounce and en­ergy, so he took her to Ex­mouth Vet Clinic, where her first test for par­vovirus was neg­a­tive but a later se­cond test proved pos­i­tive.

Wil­low’s owner opted for treat­ment and the re­sult­ing bill came to $1600, in­clud­ing $600 to cover the plasma needed to boost Wil­low’s white blood cell count.

Wil­low’s owner paid credit to Dr Gall and her team for their pro­fes­sional treat­ment.

He joined Dr Gall in urg­ing dog own­ers to en­sure their pets were up to date with vac­ci­na­tions and boost­ers, and said if ev­ery­one vac­ci­nated their dogs, it would stop the spread of the virus.

Dr Gall said the first symp­tom a dog with par­vovirus shows is be­ing com­pletely mis­er­able as well as usu­ally de­vel­op­ing vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea.

She said vets in Kar­ratha and New­man had told her half of their clients whose pets con­tracted par­vovirus opted for treat­ment, with a re­ported suc­cess rate of about 75 per cent.

More than 100 cases were treated in Kar­ratha last year.

Dr Gall said this past year ap­peared to be a par­tic­u­larly bad one for par­vovirus, with re­ports of pre­vi­ously vac­ci­nated adult dogs in Perth con­tract­ing the virus af­ter fall­ing be­hind with their boost­ers.

She said if a usu­ally happy dog was mis­er­able, then some­thing was wrong and it should be taken to the vet, where it should be kept in the car un­til test­ing is done to avoid spread­ing the dis­ease.

Pic­ture: Bran­wen Smith

Wil­low has made a re­cov­ery from par­vovirus and her owner is urg­ing dog own­ers to vac­ci­nate.

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