A local vet said Young is currently experiencing the worst mini outbreak of Parvovirus he has seen.
Young Veterinary Clinic has reported an increased incidence of Parvovirus in dogs over the past couple of weeks, meaning pet owners in Young need to be aware of the dangers and cost of not vaccinating dogs and puppies.
Local vet David Woodward said it’s the worst mini outbreak he has seen since he first came to Young in 2004.
“A significant number of animals have already had to be put down due to contracting Parvovirus - many due to a lack of finances to pay for treatment,” David said.
He said it’s a devastating outcome when a simple course of vaccinations could have prevented the animals from infection.
“If not treated 95 per cent of animals die,” David said.
“If treated properly 80 per cent will survive.
“It’s an easily preventable disease but extremely difficult to treat.”
The highly contagious virus is spread through contact with an infected dog’s feces and bodily fluids.
The virus is able to survive in the soil of back yards, making it easy to pass on from human to animal and from one location to another.
Young Veterinary Clinic stresses the importance of vaccinating, not only for the animal’s health, but the expense and time it costs the owners.
Costs escalate with treatment with many animals needing prolonged treatment, and even with treatment – there is no cure and can only be treated symptomatically - the animal may not survive.
Though puppies are the most vulnerable to the virus, dogs of all ages are susceptible, making it all the more important to have your pet’s vaccinations up to date or ensure that animals are vaccinated before they enter a new property.
Even if owners think their dog has already been vaccinated it will not hurt the animal to have a booster to ensure immunity to the virus.
The booster is a cheaper alternative to treatment if the dog is infected.
Changes in seasons tend to be when animals become infected and with the unseasonal weather experienced in the Young region during winter David believes the weather has played a part in this current outbreak. The virus has had optimal conditions to thrive he said. Parvovirus will be an issue for animal owners from now until autumn next year.
Parvovirus was first discovered on Australian shores in 1979 and has been endemic in dogs and puppies ever since.
The most prevalent presentation of the virus is in the intestine.
Symptoms of an infected animal include;
Animals that develop Parvo will start to show symptoms between three to 10 days after they have become infected.
These symptoms can step up to hemorrhaging diarrhea and blood in the vomit. Puppies quite easily become dehydrated and lose protein and glucose, and in some cases may become anemic.
It can be quite distressing for owners to see their pets in this state.
Prevention is the key to stop the spread and recurrence of the virus from infecting other canines in the Young district and when the cost and difficulty of treatment is taken into consideration the price of following a vaccine protocol is small when it comes to making a hard decision.
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