Importance of pet vaccinations

2015-04-30 14:33

THERE has been a significant increase in the number of cases of Parvovirus infection the Hayfields Veterinary Hospital has dealt with since December.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever, Doctor Derek Clover said the infection is one of the worst viruses dogs can contract.

“Often you hear people talking about rabies and other common viruses but Parvo, which is just as common but is more serious, is one that not many people know about.”

Clover explained that Parvo is one of the strongest and longest lasting viruses and can live up to six months outside the body.

“The only thing that will kill off the virus is to clean the area with diluted bleach,” he said.

Virus particles can be transferred in the air, stool or vomit. It can also be transferred by humans if they step in the infected stool or vomit.

Clover said the best preventative method is for dog owners to ensure they take their dogs for all their vaccinations.

“Often pet owners remember to take their puppies for the six and nine-week vaccinations, but slip up when it comes to 12 weeks, and this is the most important vaccination to protect them from many infections, especially Parvo.”

When dogs contract Parvo they are put on a drip to ease the pain and manage the other symptoms which include vomiting and diarrhoea.

“The survival rate varies however, dogs are put on treatment for five days. If they do not respond during that time they have to be put to sleep because it will be inhumane to let them live and suffer,” said Clover.

Parvo is preventable if owners ensure their dogs are taken for all their vaccinations.

For more information about the infection contact your nearest vet

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