Recently there have been a large number of dogs affected by parvovirus in hobart and surrounding suburbs. Below are a few important facts about parvovirus and how to protect your loved one from such a horrible disease.
Why is Parvo so dangerous?
- Parvo is extremely contagious to dogs. The virus is shed by infected dogs, and it can survive in the environment for years.. It is resistant to the effects of heat, alcohol, detergents and most disinfectants. Therefore, most patients with Parvo will not pick it up from direct contact with an infected dog, but through contact with the same environment (eg. footpaths, parks etc)
- The virus has an incubation period of 3 – 10 days. This means that a dog can be infected with the virus (and therefore spreading the virus!) for days before they begin to show signs of being unwell. This makes it very hard to control.
- There is no ‘cure’ for Parvo – once a dog is infected, the only way to help them is through a prolonged period of hospitalisation and aggressive supportive therapy. This treatment is often a very costly exercise, and sometimes despite our best efforts and with every treatment available, we are not able to save all patients with Parvo.
How can I protect my dog from Parvo?
VACCINATE, VACCINATE, VACCINATE! Puppies must receive three separate vaccinations (given at 6 – 8 weeks, 10 – 12 weeks and 14 – 16 weeks) to ensure they are protected against the virus. Adult dogs need a full vet check and vaccination review yearly to protect them for life.
In addition to vaccinating, you should also take precautions to protect your new puppy in the period leading up to their final puppy (14 – 16 week) vaccination. Don’t let your pup socialise with unvaccinated dogs, and don’t let them contact public areas where infected dogs may have been – carry them if you are unsure about the environment outside your home.
What are the symptoms of Parvo?
- Vomiting – often severe
- Diarrhoea – often foul smelling, sometimes with blood or mucus present
- Reluctance to eat or drink
- Lethargy and depression
It is important to note that not every dog infected with Parvo will show all the above symptoms, but these are the most common.
If you have any queries regarding parvovirus then please don’t hesitate to contact us.