Canine parvovirus

Dr Joanna Bruin showing the simple process of a vaccination

A recent outbreak of canine parvovirus in the Bay of Islands area has prompted concerns and is a reminder to Kaipara dog owners, with either domestic or working dogs, to ensure their animals have current vaccinations.

Parvovirus enteritis is a potentially life-threatening viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract of dogs, resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea. There is currently no direct treatment for the virus, and for most dogs, therapy is generally supportive but unrewarding. The disease is extremely infectious between dogs and can be carried on owners’ clothes, shoes, skin, and in their vehicle, though humans can not contract it. It can survive in the soil, withstanding extremes in heat and cold for up to 10 years. 

“The more dogs that are vaccinated, the less likely we will have outbreaks of parvo in the future,” said Dargaville veterinary surgeon, Joanna Bruin. 

“To prevent the occurrence of this potentially fatal disease, it is essential to vaccinate puppies from the age of six weeks to ensure they receive three vaccinations before they are 12 weeks old, then annually for the rest of their life. The vaccination also covers them for distemper and hepatitis.” 

To prevent the spread of infection  sick dogs should be isolated and cages and pens should be properly disinfected and cleaned. 

Pups that have not completed their vaccination schedule should not be allowed on the ground where affected dogs might have been.

Dog owners should seek veterinary advice if they have any concerns. 


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