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Parvovirus Outbreak

Parvovirus Outbreak

Owners Must Get Dogs Vaccinated To Avoid Serious And Potentially Fatal Disease

Two cases of canine parvovirus have been detected in Colac, with vets urging dog-owners to ensure all vaccines are up to date.

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Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that attacks the gastrointestinal tract in the animal, causing rapid and severe illness symptomised by extreme diarrhoea and vomiting. It is warned the virus can be fatal.

Doctor David Broomfield said vaccination was essential in preventing the spread of the disease.

"Untreated, the fatality rate can end up quite high. When they're identified and treated early we probably say 80-90% of cases. We put them on a drip for usually about a week and antibiotics, as well.

"It's very highly contagious, especially to unvaccinated dogs. Fully vaccinated dogs are very unlikely to pick it up, it's one of those disease that if the dogs have been vaccinated, the protection rates are very, very close to 100%.

"It has the potential [to spread]. If it gets into a population of dogs that are unvaccinated, we often see large outbreaks of it. I've been a vet for 25 years now, and I've seen dozens of cases in quite large areas. So far, there are only two recorded with this outbreak, so we're quite hopeful with treatment, management and vaccination we can stop the spread of it.

"These two dogs were bought in from New South Wales. The assumption is that they picked it up there because we know that all the recent outbreaks of parvo in dogs have been more concentrated over the border in New South Wales."

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