A new strain of a highly contagious and deadly dog virus has reached Australia.
The canine parvovirus has been detected in Victoria and South Australia.
And researchers suspect, it could now be in Queensland.
Emma Francis reports.
Vets are warning dog owners to pay careful attention if their pets become sick.
Symptoms include decreased appetite, lethargy, bloody diarrhoea and vomiting.
Half of pets diagnosed may not survive.
Baron Jonsson, Veterinary Surgeon: “So parvo’s a very debilitating virus it basically kills puppies and and young dogs.”
Some cases of the new strain have occurred in dogs who had already been vaccinated against canine parvovirus strands 2a and 2b.
Local dog minders are aware of the risk.
Annie Rossiter, Paws & Relax: “Well we disinfect twice a day and make sure all our dogs are fully vaccinated so we do try and mitigate as much as possible.”
It is most commonly contracted through the interaction with an infected dogs fecal matter.
This is a resiliant virus that can last up to 12 months.
To reduce the risk owners should avoid places where dogs congregate such as footpaths, pet stores and dog parks.
Even though tests may not pick up the new strain, vaccination is the best protection.
Baron Jonsson, Veterinary Surgeon: “You know we’re trying to control the virus as best we can and if we don’t vaccinate then we’ll have more of these outbreaks occurring.”
There’s no specific treatment for the virus, but dogs can be given intravenous drips, antibiotics and pain relief, in a bid to save them.
Emma Francis, QUT News.