Narromine Veterinary Hospital is again seeing a marked increase in the incidence of parvovirus.
Parvovirus is a highly-contagious and debilitating disease causing severe vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs.
Veterinary nurse Natasha Grech said parvovirus can affect dogs of all ages but is most commonly seen in young puppies.
“Once infected, it usually takes up to seven days before symptoms are seen,” Mrs Grech said.
“The virus attacks the lining of the dogs intestines, causing so much damage that the gut is unable to absorb water. The dog becomes severely dehydrated because of the vomiting and diarrhoea and without treatment, will die.”
The condition cannot be treated at home because the dog is unable to keep fluids down so cannot be rehydrated. Dogs suffering from parvovirus need to be admitted to a veterinary hospital to receive intravenous fluids and intensive care.
“Unfortunately, treatment for parvovirus can be very expensive,” Mrs Grech said.
“With the cost easily running up to $2000 or more, it is much more economical to prevent the disease. The good news is that preventing parvovirus is easy and affordable, with the cost of vaccination being around $85 per year - that’s less than 25 cents per day.”
Narromine Veterinary Hospital recommends a course of three vaccinations for puppies, beginning at six weeks of age and yearly vaccination for all adult dogs.
It is important to note that puppies do not have immunity until two weeks after the third vaccination and should not be walked or socialised until this time.
“It is very important that the vaccine used for your dog is from your veterinarian,” Mrs Grech added.
“Vaccines being sold by pet stores, dog groomers and agricultural supply stores are ineffective in providing long-term protection against parvovirus, leaving your dog at risk of contracting this cruel disease.
“We urge all dog owners with unvaccinated dogs to do the right thing, contact the clinic and book an appointment for vaccination.”