LOCAL dog owners are being advised to vaccinate their pets now against the deadly Parvovirus before the district hits its peak time for infection during November and December.
The cost to fully vaccinate a dog is around $240 with three injections over 10 weeks for puppies that would involve an injection at six, 12 and 16 weeks of age.
“Vaccination is money well spent when you consider that treating a dog for the Parvovirus can cost anything from $1000 to $2500,” said Heights Pet Hospital veterinarian Julie Girdler.
Dr Girdler said she had never seen Parvovirus in a fully vaccinated dog indicating the success of the treatment.
This year Singleton had a particularly severe outbreak of the disease in autumn due in part to this year’s heavy rain.
“In a normal year we would see three to five cases at our facility but in the autumn we saw 20 dogs in two months,” Dr Girdler said.
“A number of the dogs that came in for treatment had to be euthanized which is the last thing anyone wants to see.
“The best thing dog owners can do is fully vaccinate their animals.”
Parvovirus lives in the soil and becomes active due to moisture and heat and it is spread between dogs by contact with infected faeces and vomit.
Symptoms include severe vomiting and bloody, smelly diarrhoea as the virus attacks the intestinal lining from the stomach to the anus.
“There is no cure only treatment and even with treatment there is only an 80 per cent survival rate.
“Without treatment that falls to 20 per cent,” Dr Girdler said.
“Until your dog is fully vaccinated keep it confined to your backyard and only let if have contact with fully vaccinated dogs.”