LIKE EBOLA FOR DOGS

SHOCK­ING DE­TAILS OF THE SUF­FER­ING CAUSED BY DEADLY PARVO VIRUS

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE - Liana Walker Liana.Walker@bor­der­post.com.au

A STANTHORPE vet has given a graphic de­scrip­tion of death d th by b Par­vovirus P i to t shock h kd dog own­ers into it vac­ci­nat­ing their pets against the deadly virus. It’s Ebola for dogs, says Dr Ali­cia Vasta who de­scribes Par­vovirus as one of the most hor­rific but pre­ventable viruses.

PAR­VOVIRUS is hor­rific, life-threat­en­ing and en­tirely pre­ventable.

Stanthorpe vet Dr Me­gan Bridger has graph­i­cally de­scribed the virus to shock dog own­ers into get­ting their pets’ vac­cines up­dated be­fore the sum­mer spike.

The in­fected dogs, of­ten covered in their own bloody di­ar­rhoea and at the brink of death, are iso­lated in cages while they un­dergo treat­ment.

“Dogs that have Parvo are just the most mis­er­able look­ing crea­tures you’ll ever see,” Dr Bridger said.

“Their small in­tes­tine goes into melt­down mode, they will ba­si­cally shed all of the lin­ing of their small in­tes­tine in hor­ri­ble dis­gust­ing mu­cusy bloody di­ar­rhoea.”

Dogs can con­tract par­vovirus any time of year, how­ever cases spike in the warmer months as dogs spend more time out­doors.

“In­fected dogs shed it through their fae­ces and it con­tam­i­nates the soil,” Dr Bridger said.

“It’s lit­er­ally ev­ery­where. It’s on this floor right now, any­where you have just walked across grass and then walked some­where it’s there.

“It’s on your floor mats, it’s in your car.”

Dr Bridger said it was a myth only pup­pies could get parvo. She said any un­vac­ci­nated dog was at risk.

Early symp­toms in­clude be­ing un­happy, lethar­gic, off-food and usu­ally hav­ing di­ar­rhoea and vom­it­ing.

Even when treated, Dr Bridger said many dogs still died.

“They lose a lot of protein through that di­ar­rhoea and through all their in­testi­nal lin­ing com­ing out,” she said.

“They get sep­tic as well be­cause their gut is bleed­ing so much.

“That’s where poo and things are so their gut bar­rier is bro­ken and they get that con­tam­i­na­tion in their blood stream.

“They go sep­tic and that’s why they die most of the time.”

She said some own­ers opted to eu­thanise their dogs be­cause of surgery costs.

“If parvo costs you $1800 – which is prob­a­bly best case sce­nario – you could vac­ci­nate and health check a dog for 15 years,” she siad.

“You say ‘this treat­ment will start at $1500’ and they say ‘no way we can do that’ and they’ll put it down.

“But all the (in­fected dogs) we’ve treated since I’ve been here have made it, but at a very high price.”

She said own­ers just had to vac­ci­nate their dogs to en­sure they weren’t at risk.

“It’s just hor­ri­ble they’re just so, so sick and for some­thing that’s so pre­ventable it’s re­ally a shame.”

PHO­TOS: MAX FLEET/ LIANA WALKER

SO DEADLY: Dogs face a ter­ri­ble death.

PHOTO: LIANA WALKER

CHECK-UP: Vets Dr Ali­cia Vasta and Dr Me­gan Bridger know dog Nut­meg is safe from parvo thanks to her up-to-date vac­ci­na­tions.

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