Parvovirus

Outbreaks of parvovirus have recently occurred across the country with hot spots reported in New South Wales. Another local veterinary hospital has reported four confirmed cases of parvovirus over the recent weekend. It’s so important that your dogs are up to date with their vaccinations.

 

Parvovirus attacks the immune and digestive system of dogs and, if left untreated, has a high mortality rate. It can also manifest and cause cardiac (heart) problems. In young, un-vaccinated dogs this can be as high as 80% of cases.

 

Treatment for parvovirus is prolonged and intensive, with no guarantees of a positive outcome. Treatment may include aggressive intravenous fluids, antibiotics, probiotics and ongoing supportive care while hospitalised.
Signs often include:

  • extreme lethargy
  • dehydration
  • fevers
  • vomiting
  • severe, often bloody, diarrhoea.

 

Young, un-vaccinated puppies are often most at risk as well as older patients and un-vaccinated dogs.

 

It is highly contagious disease and it is extremely resistant, lasting upwards of 12 months, in the environment. Parvovirus can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s faeces. Highly resistant, it may survive on inanimate objects such as food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet and floors. It is common for an unvaccinated dog to contract parvovirus from the streets, especially in areas where there are many dogs.

 

If your dog is not up to date with its vaccination which protects against parvovirus, we are urging you to have it updated. The small cost of having this vaccination administered will far outweigh any costs associated with the treatment for parvovirus.

 

As pet owners, we have a responsibility to take care of our pets. If you cannot provide the basic healthcare requirements for them, perhaps priorities need to be reassessed.

 

As veterinarians and veterinary nurses, we have seen first hand how heartbreaking the fight is for these patients to pull through…especially when it’s a preventable disease.