Parvovirus can be largely prevented by vaccination, but once contracted the infection is often deadly and treatment can be expensive.
If you notice symptoms like lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea (especially bloody diarrhoea) in your dog take them straight to a vet.
Cairns pets are at increased risk of disease epidemics due to our itinerant population and high immigration rate.
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WA veterinarians are warning dog owners about an increase in the number of pets being treated for a potentially deadly, but easily preventable, disease.
Vets have reported up to a five-fold increase in the number of parvovirus cases being detected this year.
Australian Veterinary Association spokesman Dr Garry Edgar said: “There have been several hundred reported cases of parvovirus across Western Australia in the past couple of months, which is unusually high."
The disease is most severe in puppies, which have an 80 per cent death rate if untreated.
Common signs of the disease include severe vomiting and bloody diarrhoea.
"The frustrating thing for vets is that this virus is highly preventable," Dr Edgar said.
“Every single puppy or kitten needs to be vaccinated against deadly diseases and needs to be isolated prior to receiving the vaccination. This is much less expensive than treating your pet after it gets sick and saves the heartache of losing a new family member too soon."