Vaccinate your dog to prevent the spread of Parvovirus

Ballina Shire Council is urging dog owners in the local area to ensure their dogs are adequately vaccinated, following recent outbreaks of the deadly parvovirus. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially during the warmer summer months.

Parvovirus, or parvo, as it is commonly known, is a highly infectious virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular systems of dogs. It can affect dogs of all ages not adequately vaccinated but is most common in younger pups and older dogs.

Ballina Shire Mayor, Councillor David Wright, is concerned about the number of cases reported in the shire in the past week. “Council’s Pound had to close due to the presence of parvo. The Pound has now reopened following sanitisation,” he said.   Parvovirus is highly contagious and can remain in the environment for years after an infected dog has been there if not adequately treated.

The symptoms of parvovirus include bloody diarrhoea, lethargy, unwillingness to eat and uncontrollable vomiting.   Dogs with parvovirus can recover if aggressive veterinary treatment is used and if the virus has been detected in the initial stages.

Cr Wright said the best method of protecting a dog against parvovirus was by vaccinating the dog. “All puppies should be vaccinated as part of their vaccine program and all adult dogs should receive a booster vaccine every year,” he said.   Council is advising all owners of young puppies that have not been vaccinated to stay within their controlled home environments until vaccination has occurred.

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