CHECK UP: Veterinarian Caron Brindley is encouraging owners to have their dogs checked and vaccinated for Parvovirus.
CHECK UP: Veterinarian Caron Brindley is encouraging owners to have their dogs checked and vaccinated for Parvovirus. Jorja McDonnell

Parvovirus spike prompts calls for more dog vaccination

SEEING a sick dog is heartbreaking for even the most experienced of vets, and an outbreak of the highly contagious Parvovirus has brought even more of them through the doors of Roma Veterinary Clinic.

Caron Brindley and her colleagues have diagnosed six dogs with Parvo in the past fortnight, and three of them have come in since Thursday.

The spike in cases has renewed the vet's calls for owners to vaccinate their dogs.

"It is concerning for me, because we can lose patients, it's costly for the client to treat, and it is devastating to see these little animals so unwell,” Ms Brindley said.

"It really breaks our hearts here, because it is a preventable disease if they are vaccinated as puppies and then have a yearly booster after that.

"For us, vaccination for preventable disease is what we aim for, and really trying to advocate for our patients.”

Currently, Roma Veterinary Clinic has three dogs in their isolation unit being treated for Parvovirus.

When each came in, their symptoms were the first concern, and a quick test confirmed it.

"The earliest symptoms are lethargy and not wanting to eat, and then moving on to vomiting and bloody diarrhoea,” Ms Brindley said

"Of course, if your dog is unwell, the first thing you should do is have a vet check.

"We can very easily do a Parvo test - it is simple and takes 10 minutes to get an answer.”

Vaccination is the vets' message, because it is the only way to prevent dogs from contacting Parvovirus.

"The virus is extremely contagious; it can be easily transmitted on shoes, clothing, vehicles, and even on hands,” Ms Brindley said.

"Because it is so contagious, even if your dog lives out of town on a property, they are still susceptible because of the movement of people and animals.

"Regular vaccination is important, because if they aren't vaccinated, Parvo could affect the whole lot of your working dogs.”


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