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Recent incidents of Parvovirus remind dog owners to vaccinate

26 March 2019

Dog owners are being asked to check their pets are up-to-date with vaccinations as cases of canine parvovirus have been identified on the Coromandel.

Parvovirus (or ‘parvo’) is a contagious viral illness that affects dogs, causing severe vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite and dehydration.

The virus can be fatal and a dog in Thames has been euthanised after it was diagnosed with parvo.

However, parvo is preventable with a course of vaccinations for young pups, and booster shots for older dogs.

"We want to remind owners of non-vaccinated dogs to get their pet to the vet to get the attention they need," says our Bylaws and Compliance team leader Ken Ward.

“Check your dogs vaccinations are up-to-date and check with your local vet if you are not sure,” Mr Ward says.

Whitianga Vets has been treating one case of parvo in its clinic and says there have been multiple cases reported in Thames, two in Whitianga town and one up the 309 Road between Whitianga and Coromandel Town.

"These dogs have been wandering the town and often shed the virus before becoming sick, so it's safer to assume everywhere is infected," Whitianga Vets says.

"Unfortunately, the un-vaxxers continue to perpetuate this disease and not only compromise their own dog's health and welfare but risk everyone elses as well. Once parvo has been shed in the environment it is stable for years, for the next un-vacinated dog to re-infect and shed," Whitianga Vets say. "Vaccination is safe, cheap and fully-protective. If you have a dog it is your responsiblity to look after its health."

Whitianga Vets says it costs about $65 for a parvovirus vaccination.

Outside our district, there have been reports that five or six dogs have been euthanised in South Taranaki over recent weeks, following a parvovirus outbreak there.

Young puppies and middle aged or older dogs that have not been vaccinated for some years are most at risk of infection.

Here is some general information and precautions you can take:

• Your puppy should start its vaccinations from around six to eight weeks of age and should have repeat doses every three to four weeks until 16 weeks of age. Limit your puppy’s exposure to other dogs until after this time.
• Continue the vaccination programme with booster shots throughout your dog’s lifetime.
• Do not allow your puppy or dog to roam (unvaccinated roaming dogs and puppies can spread parvo in their droppings).
• Take precautions if parvo is in your area.
• Recognise the symptoms of parvo: Lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea.

“Please take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if it is displaying any of these symptoms,” Ken says.

For further information on Canine Parvovirus Infection in dogs contact your local vet or visit this website.