WHAT IS PARVOVIRUS?
“Parvo” for short, is an awful and heartbreaking disease. It is a HIGHLY infectious virus that causes severe gastroenteritis (“gastro”) symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Dogs usually cannot get better on their own. Parvo dogs develop a very distinct smelly, uncontrollable, and bloody diarrhoea. It is very painful and uncomfortable. We tend to see outbreaks once or twice a year in the Northern Rivers.
WHAT IS THE PROGNOSIS?
The outcome of dogs with parvovirus is often, unfortunately, very poor. It of course depends on how far along the disease has progressed, but veterinary treatment is almost always necessary and not all dogs make it through even with veterinary treatment.
HOW CAN MY DOG CATCH IT?
Dogs can contract Parvo by coming into contact with an infected dog’s faeces. The catch is, the virus can remain in the soil for a very long time. Dogs can catch Parvo not only from licking contaminated soil, but also in ways such as licking their feet after a walk through the park, licking their owner’s contaminated shoes and many other ways.
WHO IS THE MOST AT RISK?
Puppies and unvaccinated dogs are the most at risk. Puppies should not socialise with unvaccinated dogs and limit going into public areas until they have had at least their first two puppy vaccines. Avoid socialising your dogs with unvaccinated dogs.
Parvo is not limited to just puppies. We have seen unvaccinated adult dogs contract it.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Contact us to check on your dog’s vaccination status. Parvovirus can be prevented with a yearly or triennial vaccination. Parvovirus antibodies can build up in dogs over the years from vaccinations. If you prefer not to vaccinate unless absolutely necessary, then we totally understand! We can run a Titre Test and check their protective antibody levels to see if they need a booster vaccination or not. If they have sufficient levels, then we can skip vaccinating for that year and check again the next year. Titre testing with us also includes a full veterinary health check.