Deadly parvo pre­ven­tible

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Ca­nine par­vovirus, or Parvo, is a vi­ral disease which oc­curs through­out NZ; un­for­tu­nately it is over-rep­re­sented in Toko­roa.

Last year it made head­lines in other ar­eas of NZ, most notably West Auck­land, but in the past few years ‘‘out­breaks’’ have been re­ported in Nel­son, Marl­bor­ough, Taranaki, Welling­ton and here in the Waikato.

This virus is ex­tremely con­ta­gious; af­ter be­ing shed by in­fected dogs, it then sur­vives for months, if not years, in the en­vi­ron­ment, hence dog- to- dog con­tact isn’t nec­es­sar­ily re­quired for spread­ing the disease.

It can af­fect all ages, at­tack­ing the in­tes­tine, strip­ping the lin­ing, caus­ing vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea. Other symp­toms are: re­fusal to eat or drink, froth­ing at the mouth (nau­sea), ab­dom­i­nal pain, lethargy, de­pres­sion and even­tu­ally death. The lat­ter is fre­quently the out­come and may oc­cur within 24 hours if treat­ment is not rapidly in­sti­gated.

There is no spe­cific cure for par­vovirus; treat­ment in­volves in­ten­sive sup­port­ive care which is suc­cess­ful in around 50 per­cent of cases. This en­tails in­tra­venous flu­ids, an­tibi­otics and antiemet­ics.

The dog is kept in iso­la­tion due to the con­ta­gious na­ture of the disease.

It will also leave you with a large bill to pay; you are prob­a­bly look­ing at around $250 for the ini­tial 24 hours, fol­lowed by around $100 per day.

Preven­tion is by far the best way to com­bat par­vovirus. This comes in the form of vac­ci­na­tion which is ini­tially given from 6 weeks of age, 2-3 times, a month apart, then an­nu­ally.

The cost for im­mu­ni­sa­tion sits around $50. Not only is it a bet­ter op­tion for your dog but also for your pocket! Vac­ci­na­tion is very ef­fec­tive at prevent­ing this disease and all dogs should be up to date – is yours?

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