A deadly dog virus is sweeping Queensland.
Veterinarians say the Parvo virus outbreak is the worst they have seen in a decade.
Jess Lodge reports.
Canine parvovirus is highly contagious and causes life-threatening gastro-intestinal disease.
Dr Michael O’Donoghue, President Australian Veterinary Association: “It’s contracted through contact with contaminated faeces, or from vomit. So it’s a very hearty virus that can live outside of the environment for many months, up to six months or longer.”
The RSPCA has been dealing with a recent influx of animals with the virus.
Philippa Cox, RSPCA veterinary surgeon: “This year’s been particularly bad for parvo in the Brisbane area, certain locations a lot worse than others.”
Not all dogs will survive the disease.
Even after treatment, about 30 per cent die.
Dr Magnus Dyer, Camira Vet Clinic: “The animals most at risk are your young, unvaccinated puppies.”
Most dogs are vaccinated against parvovirus when they are puppies.
Owners often do not realize that they should be getting a booster shot every twelve months to improve their immunity against the deadly virus.
If your pet’s vaccinations are not up to date, it is important to avoid high-risk areas, especially dog parks.
Some owners using those facilities are furious others aren’t looking after their pets.
Vox 1: “If they don’t do the right thing; nobody that does anything like that shouldn’t even have an animal.”
Vox 2: “Well they shouldn’t be coming to the dog park, and they usually do. But the trouble is you can’t tell who is vaccinated and who isn’t.”
If you are worried about your dog catching the virus, look for these signs.
Dr Magnus Dyer, Camira Vet Clinic: “The two hallmark symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea.”
Vets are urging dog owners to keep vaccinations up to date.
Jess Lodge, QUT News