Pet owners in Mount Isa are being warned to vaccinate their dogs against the highly infectious Canine Parvovirus ("Parvovirus") after several infected animals have recently presented at veterinary clinics in the city.
Mount Isa City Council Local Laws officers have been notified by local vets of the cases, which have been alarming, according to the clinics.
North West Veterinary Clinic Director/Veterinarian Dr Katelyn Stretton said the clinic was seeing an alarming amount of positive Parvovirus cases throughout the past fortnight.
"We urge all owners to ensure their dogs are correctly vaccinated and to keep all puppies in doors and isolated from other dogs until they are fully vaccinated, Dr Stretton said.
"Signs to look out for include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea. If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Parvovirus is preventable by correct vaccination and early detection of disease, may prevent it from taking another life."
Director/Veterinarian Dr Gillian Tenni from Mount Isa Veterinary Surgery also warned of the prevalence of the disease in Mount Isa and said she recognised Mount Isa as a hotspot for Parvovirus and the disease came in waves to the city.
"Unfortunately, we have seen a large spike in the number of cases over the last three to four weeks and we encourage everyone to ensure their dogs are up to date with their vaccinations, especially puppies, Dr Tenni said.
"The Parvovirus is extremely contagious and there is no cure, only supportive treatment, so prevention is crucial."
People with puppies are urged to ensure the full vaccination schedule is strictly adhered to protect against the disease and limiting an unvaccinated dog or puppy's exposure to Parvovirus by not socialising with other dogs and avoiding places where they may be at risk of exposure.
Local vets have issued the following information to assist with the prevention of contracting Parvovirus:
A puppy will not be fully protected against parvovirus until 10-12 days after their complete series of vaccinations is given.
There are different vaccination schedules, so it is best to check with your regular vet. For puppies we recommend vaccinations are given at 6-8 weeks of age, 10-12 weeks of age and at 14 -16 weeks of age, and yearly boosters thereafter.
Vaccines not only cover Parvovirus, but also Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Hepatitis, and Bordatella and Parainfluenza viruses which cause Kennel Cough.
The virus is extremely hardy; it can withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures and can survive in the environment (ground) for up to three years.
When visiting your vet, carry your pet inside and do not let it outside on the grass. If you work in places where you have contact with other dogs, change your clothes and shoes before returning home to your unvaccinated dog or puppy.
For more information, please contact your local veterinary clinic.
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