PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Dr Chris Gough, with parvovirus survivor Sheebah, is encouraging dog owners to vaccinate their pets. Photo: Kate Matthews
PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Dr Chris Gough, with parvovirus survivor Sheebah, is encouraging dog owners to vaccinate their pets. Photo: Kate Matthews

Parvovirus warning for Valley after dog deaths

THE deadly parvovirus has flared up again in the Clarence Valley, with at least two dogs dying from the disease in the past few weeks.

South Grafton veterinarian Dr Chris Gough said the Riverbank Animal Hospital alone had treated three cases in October, but he suspected several more had gone unreported.

"It's that time of year," Dr Gough said.

Parvo can remain in the environment for up to a year and is transmitted not only from dog to dog, but also when a person unknowingly comes into contact with the virus and then infects an animal.

This can put all pups and dogs at risk, even those who never leave the backyard.

"People can move the virus around on their shoes and on car tyres," Dr Gough said.

He also warned an infected dog could spread the disease for up to two weeks before any symptoms were present, making it a difficult disease to predict or quarantine.

Mr Gough urged all pet owners to ensure vaccinations were up to date to stop their dog becoming a victim.

"We need to get the message out," he said.

"Parvo is preventable and vaccinations are needed every 12 months from 10 weeks of age."

Dozens of cases were reported last December.

Vaccination costs about $75 per animal.



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