Canine Parvovirus Outbreak: Key Information
Where is it occurring?
- In the last few weeks parvovirus has been reported in Cumbria, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Northumbria and Yorkshire.
- Outbreaks are more common in cities and towns where there are higher concentrations of unvaccinated dogs.
- It is highly contagious and resistant; virtually anything that comes in contact with a parvovirus infected dog can transmit the virus; including people, grass and inanimate objects.
Who is at risk?
- Unvaccinated dogs, including those that haven't had their yearly booster injections.
- Parvovirus is particularly dangerous for puppies as they have a developing immune system.
- The canine strain of parvovirus cannot be passed onto humans. It is also highly unlikely to infect cats but if you have a dog with parvovirus be cautious about other pets in your home.
- It can take up to 7 days for a dog to show symptoms.
- Parvovirus attacks the intestine and prevents vital nutrient absorption.
- Symptoms include bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and fever.
Prevention and Treatment
- Prevention is much more effective and cheaper than treatment, unfortunately there isn't a cure for parvovirus.
- Prevention comes in the form of 3 vaccinations in the first year of a dogs life, followed by booster injections approximately every year.
- If your dog is displaying symptoms of parvovirus call your vet immediately, dogs with parvovirus need to be hospitalised.
- Treatment for parvovirus will involve aiding the dogs immune system, preventing dehydration and fighting possible secondary infections with antibiotics.
- Dogs with parvovirus will stay on average for 5-7 days in hospital.
- Unfortunately parvovirus is very serious for dogs, even with hospitalisation many won't survive, especially puppies.
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