Man's best friend in jeopardy
VETERINARIANS have called on dog owners to vaccinate their pooches from a deadly virus that is rising in prevalence.
Canine parvovirus is capable of causing serious intestinal problems and can lead to death.
Symptoms include bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of appetite and severe lethargy.
Vet Elise Ogden, from Total Care Veterinarians, said the severity of the condition should incline all owners to vaccinate.
"It's a very serious, potentially fatal virus, especially in puppies,” Mrs Ogden said.
"There is no cure, so vaccination is the only way you can prevent it.”
Mrs Ogden said the weather played a large role in the potential of the virus to devastate and, once caught, it spread easily.
"The virus survives in soil for up to 10 years and rises to the top after rain.
"So dogs are beginning to be affected now because of all the recent rain we have had.
"It's very highly contagious, dogs can catch it through being in contact with an infected dog or in contact with infected vomit or diarrhoea.”
Dogs should be vaccinated annually for parvovirus, with puppies vaccinated when they are 6-8 weeks of age.