Torenbeek Vet Clinic’s Boet Vermeulen examines Weedy for signs of parvo virus, which is prevalent across the city at the moment.
Torenbeek Vet Clinic’s Boet Vermeulen examines Weedy for signs of parvo virus, which is prevalent across the city at the moment. MEGAN LEWIS

Parvo is killing Rocky's pooches

ROCKHAMPTON vet Boet Vermeulen is warning dog owners to be on high alert as parvo virus is more prevalent than ever.

In recent weeks the city has seen more cases than it has in years, with many new family pets dying from the deadly disease.

At Torenbeek Vet Clinic alone they have recently been treating about six new cases a week.

Mr Vermeulen said parvo virus was a terrible way for a dog to die and could be quiet heartbreaking for a new pet owner – not to mention costly.

He said the first warning sign was that the dog would seem off-colour and lethargic, followed by severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

Parvo virus can affect dogs of all ages, but is most common is dogs less than one year old.

Yesterday Mr Vermeulen said parvo virus did not have to be contacted from another infected dog, it could be picked up anywhere such as in public parks, at beaches and footpaths.

“It’s a very resilient virus and can stay in an area for years,” he said.

Mr Vermeulen said there was also a new strain of parvo virus spreading around Australia, which seemed to be more severe. However, that strain had not yet been proven to exist in Rockhampton.

The best way to combat parvo virus was with vaccination.

“It is very rare for a vaccinated dog to contract parvo,” he said.

Mr Vermeulen urged all new pet owners to ensure their puppy was vaccinated from as early as six weeks of age.

“Think of it as cheap insurance for your pet,” he said.



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