LIKE EBOLA FOR DOGS
SHOCKING DETAILS OF THE SUFFERING CAUSED BY DEADLY PARVO VIRUS
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.”
SO DEADLY: Dogs face a terrible death.
CHECK-UP: Vets Dr Alicia Vasta and Dr Megan Bridger know dog Nutmeg is safe from parvo thanks to her up-to-date vaccinations.