Parvo wreaks havoc again

OUTBREAK: Whyalla Veterinary Clinic Nurse Ashlyn Harris treating an 11-week old pup for parvovirus. The dog was unvaccinated and has been in the clinic for 2-3 days.

OUTBREAK: Whyalla Veterinary Clinic Nurse Ashlyn Harris treating an 11-week old pup for parvovirus. The dog was unvaccinated and has been in the clinic for 2-3 days.

The Whyalla Veterinary Clinic have urged dog owners to get their pets vaccinated after another outbreak of parvovirus in the community.

Vet Andrew Mellville-Smith said the clinic treated three dogs for parvovirus over the Easter weekend as well as one case of dog baiting.

Mr Mellville-Smith said it's cheaper to vaccinate dogs for the new strain of parvovirus than it is to pay for it to be euthanised.

"All three dogs were not vaccinated, it doesn't cost a lot to get them vaccinated. Unfortunately people seem to have different spending priorities," he said.

Currently a new vaccine for the latest strain of parvovirus is available through pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, with a guarantee that if the dog still falls victim to parvovirus, they will pay for the treatment.

Dogs contract Parvovirus by coming into contact with vomit or faeces from infected dogs. Once an area is infected, it can remain dangerous for up to a year.

The only way to protect young puppies is a course of three vaccinations, ideally administered by a vet in the first 20 weeks of life.

Most dogs older than four months will achieve immunity to the virus with just one vaccination.

Unvaccinated dogs, including young puppies that have not received the full vaccination course, should not be allowed to come into contact with other dogs or taken to areas where other dogs have been.

Puppies and senior dogs are the most at risk of contracting Parvovirus.

The symptoms - including bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever, weight loss and lethargy - have drawn comparisons with Ebola, another highly contagious virus that affects humans.

If you need to vaccinate your pet contact the Whyalla Veterinary Clinic contact them on 8645 9926