Alex O'Brien


Fri, 8 May, 2015

Queensland dogs at risk in wake of deadly virus outbreak

Queensland dogs at risk in wake of deadly virus outbreak

Queensland is in the midst of an outbreak of the highly infectious Parvovirus, which affects dogs and can be lethal.

The RSPCA in Wacol have reported a spate of cases, which signals the first outbreak in nearly 10 years.

"(It's) certainly the worst outbreak I've seen in at least a decade," RSPCA chief vet Anne Chester said.  

Tragically, many of the canines are not surviving the virus. 

"It also seems to be more deadly, we're having a lot of difficulty treating the animals," Dr Chester said. 

The disease attacks the lining of the stomach, causing internal bleeding. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Dogs most often contract Parvovirus by sniffing another canine's faeces. 

"It lives in the ground for a long time, it's not easily killed the virus," Dr Chester said.

"And people can shift into an area and not realising the animal's had Parvovirus there before." 

There have been thousands of cases of Parvovirus right across Queensland, but vets claim the worst patch is from Ipswich to Woodridge. 

Most dogs are vaccinated against parvovirus when they're just puppies, but what many owners probably don't realise is that they need a booster shot every 12 months to bolster their immunity.

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