Vaccine the only way to stop parvo

Thursday, 20th September, 2012

Twelve-month old Jester, with RSPCA veterinarian Dr Doug Dixon-Hughes, is a kelpie cross puppy looking for a loving home. She was recently vaccinated against the parvo virus. Twelve-month old Jester, with RSPCA veterinarian Dr Doug Dixon-Hughes, is a kelpie cross puppy looking for a loving home. She was recently vaccinated against the parvo virus.

By Emily Roberts

Seven dogs have been diagnosed with parvo virus over the past fortnight, according to the RSPCA.

The RSPCA's veterinarian, Dr Doug Dixon-Hughes, said the virus was particularly is prevalent at this time of the year.

"Pet owners need to vaccinate dogs in Broken Hill to reduce parvo," Dr Dixon-Hughes said.

"We need 90 per cent participation for it to work properly and we are a long way off that."

He said it was up to pet owners to do the right thing.

"I am currently treating four dogs and, including them, I've had seven in the last fortnight," he said. "(Parvo) happens every Spring and Autumn."

Dr Dixon-Hughes said having parvo can be very hard on dogs.

"Even if they pull through it is a horrible week for them. They suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. You wouldn't wish it on any dog," he said.

Dr Dixon-Hughes said 80 per cent of dogs who were treated pulled through but without treatment up to 90 per cent of them would die.

He said that dogs can be given the injection at six weeks of age. "Parvo is very infectious and very contagious.

"Vaccinations can be done at six weeks and then another at 10 weeks of age."

He said another important thing to remember was that a healthy female can pass on better immunity to her pups.

"If a female dog has a chance of getting pregnant, it is important for her to have vaccinations to pass on that immunity.

"Also, when buying a puppy a lot of people can misunderstand whether or not the puppies have been vaccinated.

"If you don't have a certificate to say your dog has been vaccinated, get it vaccinated."

It costs $59 to get pups vaccinated and $79 for adult dogs.