Deadly parvo preventible
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?