Thursday, May 24, 2012

Deadly Parvovirus outbreak across Queensland prompts calls to vaccinate dogs

Dearly Parvovirus strikes Queensland dogs.

Hundreds of dogs have been infected with canine parvovirus during one of the worst outbreaks of the virus seen during recent years. 
Parvovirus is a deadly infectious disease of dogs which causes severe diarrhoea, vomiting, collapse and death.  The virus is highly transmissable as it is very difficult to destroy even with antiseptics and it is shed in large quantities in vomit and faeces, and tiny amounts are infectious to susceptable dogs.  Even a puppy smelling their owners shoe where they have stepped in faeces from an infected dog can easily result in infection.
Cairns had its own severe parvovirus outbreak early in 2012, with dozens of dogs becoming infected and many dying or being euthanased.  The virus affected numerous pets and also dogs as welfare shelters resulting in a lot of heartbreak for owners and workers at welfare agencies like the RSPCA.  There were also outbreaks of  Parvovirus in Queensland after the 2011 flooding/
Cairns has a fairly high risk of getting a parvovirus outbreak because we have high population influx at this time of year.  People travelling for work or leisure often bring their pets with them, and dogs carrying parvovirus may seem to be well until they suddently deteriorate.  By the time they are obviously very sick, a number of other dogs may be infected.  This can be a big problem if they are staying with friends with dogs, or at a Caravan park with other dogs or in a shelter environment.  Even dog parks can be risky, so its critical that dogs are fully vaccinated before being allowed to go places where other dogs have been.
Fortunately, there is a safe and highly effective vaccine for Parvovirus.  All pups should be vaccinated 2 or 3 times from 6-8 weeks of age and annually thereafter.  Routine dog vaccines normally include Parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis and kennel cough. In Cairns, outdoor dogs should also be vaccinated for Leptospirosis and sometimes tetanus depending on their location and lifestyle.
Your vet can give you accurate, reliable information about how to protect your pet from common but deadly diseases like parvovirus, leptospirosis, ticks, intestinal worms and heartworm.
Puppies should be kept inside and away from all unvaccinated dogs until 2 weeks after their parvovirus vaccination.  Puppies also need worm treatment every 2 weeks: pups with worms are at higher risk of contracting diseases like parvovirus because they

Read more about the last Parvovirus outbreak in Cairns at the Cairns Post