Vets recommend virus vaccination
A Matamata veterinarian is strongly recommending people vaccinate their pups against a deadly virus after a recent spike in cases.
Matamata Veterinary Services has seen six or seven animals with the highly contagious parvovirus in the past two weeks.
Small animal team leader Susan Murray said it was strange to see the disease flare up this late in the year.
‘‘ We tend to see it most in December, January and February but this year we have seen a spike now, which is unusual.’’
Landmark Vets had not had any cases this month but said they had an influx in February and March.
Parvovirus is an acute, highly contagious virus that is spread from dog to dog or through the environment.
It is most dangerous to puppies under the age of four months, though it can be contracted at any age.
It is extremely painful, destroying the dog’s gut lining and often causing blood poisoning.
Vets can attempt to treat it with intravenous fluid, anti-vomiting medicine, pain relief and antibiotics at a cost of about $500 to $1000. Often it is fatal.
Symptoms include the pup being off its food and very quiet and progress to extreme vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness.
It was unfortunate that puppies still presented with the virus when it is preventable by vaccination, said Murray.
Puppies should have their first vaccination at about six weeks, then a second at 10 weeks and a third at 14 weeks.
Until puppies were fully vaccinated, owners should keep them away from dogs which had not been given parvovirus shots and places frequented by dogs.