Parvovirus infecting dogs in QLD
FRASER Coast vets are warning dog and puppy owners to make sure their pets are up to date with their vaccinations as a wave of deadly parvovirus sweeps across the eastern region in the wake of Qld’s big wet.
“It’s already hit the Fraser Coast,” Hervey Bay Veterinary Surgery’s Dr Candice Loft said yesterday.
“We have had a few dogs come in with parvo over the last few days – at least five or six.
“This is a very infectious disease and requires intensive care for about a week so it is expensive. We ask for an $800 deposit before we start treating the dog because the final bill will be about $1500.
“I point this out because it is obviously very much cheaper to get your dog vaccinated – for about $120.”
“We have seen a significant increase in dogs with canine parvovirus being brought into veterinary surgeries in recent weeks,” said Dr Jodie Wilson, president elect of the Queensland Division of the Australian Veterinary Association.
“This disease is highly contagious and tends to favour the hot and humid conditions that we have recently been having across the eastern states of Australia.”
Dogs that are particularly susceptible to parvovirus are young puppies and dogs that have not had their vaccinations.
“Adult dogs may need a booster and you can get advice on this from your local vet, however it is critical that puppies are vaccinated,” Dr Wilson said.
The virus can be especially severe in puppies, with death in around 80 per cent of untreated cases.
“Common signs of canine parvovirus are severe vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. If your pet has any of these symptoms you should see your local vet straight away,” Dr Wilson said.
The canine parvovirus is a highly infectious disease spread among dogs and puppies either through direct contact or indirect contact through faeces.
The virus is a relatively new disease discovered in the late 1970s. It can be found in dogs, puppies, wolves, foxes and other canids. It does not transfer to birds or humans. Some limited transfer to cats has been found.
Puppies are most susceptible to the virus.
The two forms of infection are intestinal and cardiac. More than 80 per cent of infected dogs do not show symptoms.
With severe infection, dogs can die within 48 to 72 hours.
Breeds such as rottweilers, labrador retrievers, doberman pinschers and pit bull terriers are considered more susceptible to the virus.
Dehydration due to secondary symptoms
Distinct odour in later stages due to secondary symptoms
Sudden death in puppies due to cardiac form, preceded by breathing attacks