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Virus alert

Tuesday, 20th May, 2014

Dr Guillaume Tabuteau Dr Guillaume Tabuteau

By Emily Roberts

A “horrific” outbreak of parvo has prompted a warning for pet owners to take their sick animals to the vet.

Animal Control Officer Alicia Stewart said a large seven-month-old dog was left in the mini pound, and was very sick with parvovirus.

“The animal would have been sick with it for a couple of days,” Ms Stewart said.

“The dog was so sick, it died and during the course of its illness, it infected the mini pound.

“It was absolutely horrific.”

Ms Stewart reminded locals if they surrender an animal it doesn’t cost anything.

“If you can’t afford to treat a sick animal, come into the pound, let them know the animal is sick and surrender it,” she said.

“If you can’t afford treatment, you don’t have to dump the animal. I want to stress that if you surrender the animal, it can be treated and, hopefully, re-homed.”

Ms Stewart said this was the best way to make sure other animals weren’t at risk.

She said people should also make sure their animals are up-to-date with vaccinations.

“Vaccinations are a lot cheaper than the treatment,” she said.

“The dog at the mini pound was extremely sick and so weak through blood loss - she couldn’t even lift her head.

“It was awful to watch a dog go through something so painful.” 

BH Vet clinic’s Guillaume Tabuteau said he was seeing dogs come in with parvo.

“Pet owners need to ensure they are vaccinating their animals,” he said.

“It is a blatant disregard for their welfare, if they are not vaccinated.”

Dr Tabuteau said symptoms of parvo included dogs being lethargic, not eating, salivating, vomiting, having diarrhea or bloody diarrhea.

“Having parvo leads to very sore ulcerated intestines and can decrease a dog’s immunity to other infections,” he said.

“It is an extremely contagious disease and can be passed through contact.”

“You need to vaccinate your pet at 6 to 12 weeks of age, then another vaccination a couple of months after,” he said.

“A regular yearly booster shot needs to be given also.

“Parvo is a cruel disease.”

Dr Tabuteau hoped there wasn’t an increase in cases.

“It is concerning that some people aren’t bothering to vaccinate their animals,” he said.

“Prevention is better than a cure.”

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