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Vets Fight Deadly Parvovirus in Puppies

10 March 2015
Australian Veterinary Association

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Veterinary Association is calling on owners to make sure their dogs are up to date with their vaccinations with a high number of parvovirus cases reported in New South Wales and Queensland.

AVA Queensland Division President, Dr Michael O’Donoghue said that many pets’ lives are unnecessarily put at risk because they haven’t had the vaccinations they need to protect them from parvovirus.

“Young puppies and dogs that have never been vaccinated are susceptible to the virus with death in around 80 per cent of untreated cases,” he said.

According to Disease Watchdog, vets have recorded 315 cases in the last three months including 170 cases in New South Wales and 60 cases in Queensland.

“Of those cases that were treated, unfortunately 53 per cent died or were euthanised. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There’s a simple solution to preventing dogs from contracting the disease.

“All puppies from six weeks of age should be vaccinated against parvovirus and other canine diseases. Follow up vaccinations are required and your vet can advise on what’s best in your area.

“Parvovirus is highly contagious and is spread by oral or nasal contact with contaminated faeces, a contaminated environment or contaminated objects. It’s extremely resistant to the environment and can survive on objects like clothing, shoes and the floor for five months or longer,” he said.

Hot spots in New South Wales includes Orange (41 cases), Duri (12 cases), Goulburn (10 cases), Tamworth (10 cases), Walgett (9 cases), Ambarvale (7 cases). In Queensland, Charters Towers (18 cases), White Rock (13 cases) and Theodore (8 cases) have the most reported cases.

“If you dog is unvaccinated and shows signs of lethargy, vomiting or diarrhoea, seek veterinary attention immediately. Early treatment is essential in improving the chance of survival,” Dr O’Donoghue said.

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