CAA president Katina Kilpatrick. (stock image)
CAA president Katina Kilpatrick. (stock image) Chris Ison

Pet owners warned to vaccinate after major parvo outbreak

RECENTLY adopted four-month-old Sunni is a happy and healthy puppy.

But two weeks ago it was a different story for the rescue dog, who began vomiting blood and was diagnosed with deadly parvovirus.

The mastiff cross was rescued from the Rockhampton pound two weeks ago by Capricorn Animal Aid, who say there has been an unusually large outbreak of the highly infectious disease around town.

Sunni is one of many dogs with parvo they have rescued from the pound in the past year.

CAA president Katina Kilpatrick is encouraging all pet owners to vaccinate, as treatment can cost thousands.

She also said they had asked council to improve their facilities to prevent spreading the disease.

"The current pound is not designed to manage infectious diseases such as parvo due to inadequate drainage, direct contact with infected dogs and other issues surrounding the layout and floor surfaces," she said.

Committee chair of health and compliance councillor Ellen Smith said Sunni was a stray collected from a private residence on request, and other puppies from her litter also developed parvo.

"If a dog has not been vaccinated, the disease is carried from private residences to pounds and to animal shelters," she said.

"Council is putting an isolation facility in place to mitigate the spread of infection within the pound. "The facility will ensure any puppy that is brought to the pound will not come in contact with other dogs."

Know the signs

Parvovirus can live in soil up to seven years. It attacks the immune system and gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include:

Vomiting

Lethargy

Dehydration

Diarrhoea and bloody stools



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