The virus is very resistant to disinfection and can persist in the environment for up to 2 years.
There has once again been an outbreak of the deadly parvo virus, which causes a gastro-intestinal condition with vomiting and diarrhoea, which may, in turn, lead to sepsis, multi-organ failure and death, especially in puppies, Mid South Coast Rising Sun reports.
The virus is very resistant to disinfection and can persist in the environment for up to 2 years. Parvo virus is extremely contagious, but clinical signs of the illness only become apparent 6-10 days after infection.
Any unvaccinated puppy will easily contract the disease.
Hospitalisation for intensive therapy and supportive treatment significantly improves the survival rate, but is very expensive and not always successful. Prevention is better than cure and vets recommend early vaccination of pups from the age of 5 weeks.
Thereafter 3 booster vaccinations should be given three weeks apart.
Once the puppy vaccinations are up to date, yearly vaccinations are recommended. Vets would like to stress that the virus is rife and any owner with a puppy must bring the animal in immediately for vaccination.
Check its vaccination status at the time of obtaining the new puppy.
Submitted by Dr Debi Subramanian, a Scottburgh vet.