Vac­ci­na­tion plea as parvo claims pups

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CARLY GOOCH

The deadly par­vovirus has taken the lives of two dogs in Motueka and there’s fears more cases in the town­ship are not be­ing treated says a Motueka vet.

Ca­nine parvo is a highly con­ta­gious virus, with symp­toms in­clud­ing lethargy, vom­it­ing and bloody di­ar­rhoea.

The Vet Cen­tre Motueka vet Jessie Krul said there had been three con­firmed cases of par­vovirus re­cently over a few days.

‘‘I do sus­pect there’s a cou­ple more out there we haven’t seen un­for­tu­nately, and it’s a very sad thing – such a hor­ri­ble dis­ease.’’

Three cases may not seem like cause for con­cern but she said she had been at the prac­tice a year and these were the first in­stances she had seen.

‘‘There hasn’t been a cou­ple for three years now. Three years ago there was a bit of a spread but noth­ing dra­matic since then.’’

Con­tained to Motueka, both Hal­i­fax Vet­eri­nary Cen­tre and Vic­tory Vets of Nel­son re­ported no par­vovirus pa­tients had been ad­mit­ted to their clin­ics.

Dogs can, and should, be vac­ci­nated against the virus when they’re pup­pies, said Krul.

‘‘I think it lives in the ground for a quite a few years and un­for­tu­nately, all you need is one puppy that isn’t vac­ci­nated ex­posed. Peo­ple tend to be quite so­cia­ble with their dogs and spread it to a cou­ple more pup­pies that aren’t vac­ci­nated ... it’s that easy.’’

She said pup­pies should have two vac­ci­na­tions, one at about 13-weeks-old and the last at 16-weeks-old. Af­ter 10 days at home the puppy would then be im­mune and able to be taken out.

‘‘It’s al­ways less than $100 for a parvo vac­ci­na­tion ver­sus $2000 to $3000 to try to get your dog to sur­vive it.

‘‘It’s a very easy choice to make.’’

Once a dog has the virus, there’s no treat­ment.

‘‘It’s not like we can give an­tibi­otics. It’s just a wait and see game.’’

Vet clin­ics pro­vide in­ten­sive care to ca­nines with parvo as the virus runs its course.

‘‘They can’t eat, the virus [is] strip­ping the lin­ing of the in­testines so we’ve just got to sup­port them with flu­ids – feed them as much as we can. We’ve got to sup­port them through nau­sea and se­condary bac­te­ria in­fec­tions.

‘‘Help­ing them sur­vive re­ally.’’ it

Pup­pies are the worst hit when it comes to the deadly virus.

Two pup­pies had to be eu­thanised at Motueka Vets, while one dog bat­tled through.

Krul said it was ‘‘gut wrench­ing’’ hav­ing to put them down.

‘‘It’s a hor­ri­ble thing that we have to deal with ... and any an­i­mal that could have just had a vac­ci­na­tion.’’

Nel­son SPCA ca­nine team leader Ni­cole Blas­dale said there had been one car­rier at their site.

‘‘Sadly we did have a stray puppy brought here briefly from Motueka.’’

She said once it was tested pos­i­tive, all their dogs and pup­pies un­der their care were screened.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing had been vac­ci­nated or came back neg­a­tive. We dodged a bul­let there.

‘‘It’s a wake up call for every­body – the need to vac­ci­nate young dogs.’’


Trudi Black of Nel­son SPCA with pup­pies which are all vac­ci­nated against par­vovirus be­fore find­ing their for­ever homes.

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