Unvaccinated dogs – even those who never leave their properties – are currently at risk of of contracting the deadly parvovirus in the Manning Valley.
The outbreak is spreading rapidly, killing unvaccinated puppies and putting the lives of many adult dogs at risk.
Manning Veterinary Hospital’s Dr Geert Lampen says the virus is so contagious, it is even spreading from the streets to people’s clothes and shoes and owners are unknowingly taking the virus home to their unvaccinated dogs.
“Tiny particles of the virus brought home off the streets are enough to infect an unvaccinated dog,” says Geert.
Dogs who are not up to date with boosters are also at risk.
Tragically, treatment for this virus is lengthy, costs $2000 to $3000 and comes with a very guarded prognosis.
Many owners simply don’t have the money.
“As a result, we have had to humanely euthanase many parvo positive dogs this summer, where owners had no access to funds. Most of these dogs have been between two and six months of age.”
Vets are calling for owners to get their dogs vaccinated asap.
The Taree branch of the RSPCA can provide financial assistance by paying the first consult fee for pensioners and concession card holders. Vets have the details or email email@example.com
The standard puppy vaccination protocol is 3 vaccinations, 4 weeks apart.
But vets say even 1 or 2 vaccinations would hugely increase their immune response to the disease and increase their chances of survival.
“It is just heartbreaking to have to tell owners their beautiful puppy has to be euthanised because they can’t afford the treatment.”
Vaccinated dogs can still become unwell after contracting the virus which is spread through contact with other dogs or dog faeces.
Early signs are lethargy, diahorrea and vomiting.
What you can do
• Ensure your dog’s annual vaccination is up to date
• Tell your neighbours and anyone else with dogs who may not be vaccinated
• Donate to vets to help those who can not afford treatment.
• Take your shoes off before going back to your property after visiting town
• Limit your dogs’ exposure to only vaccinated dogs
• Seek immediate veterinary assistance if your dog is lethargic, not eating or has diahorrea