Vets rec­om­mend virus vac­ci­na­tion

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART

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.

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