If your dog isn’t up-to-date on vaccinations, now might be a good time to check with your veterinarian.
Parvovirus, a serious and potentially lethal canine disease, has made an appearance in the region.
“It’s not an epidemic,” says Gordon Bose, a veterinarian at the Shuswap Vet Clinic. “It’s no surprise that we are seeing it here, as it is more prevalent in August to October.”
Despite some reports of an outbreak, Bose says the vet clinic would usually see six to eight cases in a year. So far, they have treated 12.
“It’s not unusual numbers, but the best advice I can give if people are concerned is to be sure your pet’s vaccinations are current.”
Parvo, as it is commonly known, is a particularly difficult virus because it can remain viable in the environment for up to three months.
The disease is highly contagious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. It has two distinct presentations, a cardiac and intestinal form. The common signs of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and dysentery. The cardiac form causes respiratory or cardiovascular failure.
It is more often seen in younger animals who may not have developed full immunity.
“Puppies, like kids, need boosters to protect them. For a two-month old puppy, one shot isn’t enough. The best thing to do is check with your vet.”
Bose says owners who have their pets properly vaccinated have little to worry about.