You may have seen recent social media posts about at “Killer” dog virus circulating in Lecale. In fact, many of our clients have approached us with questions about this virus. The name of the virus is parvo which means “small” in Latin. The truth is that this virus is an ever present risk to the canines of Lecale. It has been a problem since the late 1970s and continues to pose a threat to our canine companions. It can cause diarrhoea, depression, dehydration and even death, especially in puppies.
The virus is thought to have jumped from cats in the late 1970s. It mutated when it entered the dog population. Because dogs had never “seen” the virus before, they had no immunity. It caused serious disease and death, and continues to do so. The vets responded by developing a vaccine to this virus. Now it is recommended that all dogs are vaccinated when they are puppies and come back in annually for a checkup to try to protect against this disease.
Most standard puppy vaccines will provide protection against parvo virus. It is very important to make sure your puppy is vaccinated, and doesn’t contact other dogs until it is vaccinated. Parvo is spread whenever dogs go to the toilet, and other dogs sniff their leavings. Even a vaccinated dog can infect a dog who is not vaccinated. If you are unsure if your dog is vaccinated or not contact your vet. They can perform a test to check. Or if may be cheaper to simply restart their vaccination course from scratch to be on the safe side.
If your dog catches parvo virus it can be deadly. Treatment involves admission to hospital and intravenous fluids. Sadly, younger dogs are often not strong enough to fight the virus, and can die. The old adage “Prevention is better than Cure” applies here. If you have any queries, please contact your vet for information, or drop into Downe Vets for a vaccination.