Gunnedah vets see more parvo cases

Gunnedah Veterinary Hospital has reported another flare-up of canine parvovirus in the area.

Veterinarian Trish Robinson vaccinates a puppy to combat parvovirus.

Veterinarian Trish Robinson vaccinates a puppy to combat parvovirus.

Veterinarian Trish Robinson said five cases have been presented to the veterinary hospital in the last week.

“We've always had bad parvo in this area but in the past few weeks we have seen a re-emergence,” Ms Robinson said.​

The disease is mainly carried in animal faeces, which can be transferred by owners carrying it on their shoes or dogs coming into contact with infected animals.

It can cause vomiting, severe diarrhoea, lethargy, inappetence and possible heart failure.

Ms Robinson said the virus can live in the ground for up to six years.

The veterinary hospital said a three-course vaccination, at six weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks, and annual boosters are required to keep the virus at bay.

“The virus can be bad for young dogs, especially ones that aren’t vaccinated, so the message is to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate,” Ms Robinson said.

Gunnedah Veterinary Hospital’s last reported outbreak of the virus was in December, last year.

RSPCA Gunnedah branch reported six cases of parvovirus in puppies in January, as well as an outbreak of feline parvovirus.

A parvovirus epidemic swept the region in 2013, with the number of deaths well into double figures.

At the time, parvo circulated the area for around two to three months, with Gunnedah Veterinary Hospital reporting at least two cases a day for two weeks.

From inquiries to clinic presentation, more than 30 cases were reported to the vet hospital, with just over a 50 per cent survival rate.

Saleyard veterinarian Mark Baker reported between 30-40 cases of the virus, including inquiries, with only a few treated at the vet hospital.

Gunnedah Pet Vet’s Ann Luke reported up to another 20 possible cases of the virus.

The animals need extensive treatment to survive but in many cases it proves too costly for the owners.