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The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is warning dog owners around Maribyrnong to ensure their pets are immunised against parvovirus, following a number of recent cases of the deadly disease.

AVA Victorian President, Dr Roslyn Nichol says that veterinarians around a localised region of western Melbourne have reported seeing a small number of dogs requiring treatment in the past week, but are concerned about the potential for a disease outbreak.

"Parvovirus is a highly infectious disease that affects mainly young dogs and is often fatal in puppies, but any dog may develop the disease," said Dr Nichol.

"We are particularly concerned, because we do not usually see many cases of parvovirus at this time of year. Dogs that have not recently been vaccinated are at risk of contracting this very unpleasant disease which is difficult to treat.

"If owners notice symptoms of bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of appetite and depression in their dog, they should take them to their veterinarian immediately.
Affected animals often require intensive treatment in hospital. If any contact has been made with an infected case, owners should seek veterinary advice," Dr Nichol said.

"We can prevent and control this disease by ensuring all dogs are immunised. Puppies should start their vaccination program at 6-8 weeks followed by their adult vaccine at 12-14 weeks. All dogs should have a yearly veterinary check and booster vaccination as recommended by their veterinarian," Dr Nichol said.

Australian Veterinary Association

Last Update: 14/06/07 18:33 Views: 10199

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