Watch for signs of dog virus, Bendigo vets warn

VETERINARIANS are urging pet owners to vaccinate their puppies against parvovirus after an outbreak of the disease in Bendigo.

Passionate Vetcare veterinarian Dr Kellie Anset said she recently euthanased three dogs in 24 hours and had been inundated with dogs and puppies that had contracted the gastrointestinal disease.

RSPCA Bendigo Shelter supervisor Mark Goodwin said he had heard of many recent reports of the disease, and White Hills Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr Jack Lang also said the climic had treated several cases in the past few weeks.

The virus is spread through indirect and direct contact with infected dog’s faeces. 

Dr Anset said it was the worst outbreak of the disease she had experienced.

She said the virus was extremely contagious but could be prevented with three injections at eight, 12 and 16 weeks of age and then yearly follow-up shots.

Dr Anset urged anyone who bought a puppy to ensure the animal underwent the series of vaccinations.

“This disease is horrible and it is horrible seeing dogs contract it,” she said. “It’s heart-wrenching to have to put a dog down.”

Dr Lang said parvovirus treatment was costly and it was cheaper in the long run to vaccinate.

“The cost is quite small in comparison to treating the disease.

A lot of people think they are covered after one vaccination, but 

it’s something that has to be followed up.”

Dr Lang said warning signs of animals with parvovirus were lethargy and food aversion in the first 24 hours, and then vomiting.

He said the dog’s life could be saved if action was taken early enough.

“If you’re concerned in any way, go to your local vet and get a parvo test done.”

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