RSPCA WA urges owners to get dogs vaccinated against parvovirus after deadly outbreak in Great Southern

Jacob Morgan-de LaineAlbany Advertiser
RSPCA WA Great Southern Inspector Georgina Brown and Skittles the dog.
Camera IconRSPCA WA Great Southern Inspector Georgina Brown and Skittles the dog. Credit: Supplied

Great Southern pet owners are being urged to vaccinate their dogs against parvovirus after an outbreak in the region including the death of at least two dogs this month.

RSPCA WA Great Southern Inspector Georgina Brown said a string of cases of the deadly disease had presented at vet centres in Albany in recent weeks.

“Clinics are doing their best to help, but the sad reality is that dogs and puppies are dying,” she said.

“I know of seven dogs who’ve tested positive and two who’ve passed away from parvo in the past week.”

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Parvovirus is highly contagious and can stay on surfaces and in environments for a long time, withstanding heat, cold and humidity.

Dogs can contract the virus by interacting with infected dogs, or by coming into contact with contaminated faeces, surfaces or environments.

Signs that your dog could be infected with parvovirus include lethargy, loss of appetite, severe or repeated vomiting and diarrhoea, most commonly with blood present.

“I’ve spent over a decade working as a vet nurse in clinics across the region and have seen firsthand the devastation this disease can cause,” Ms Brown said.

“By not vaccinating your dog, you’re exposing your pet and other much-loved dogs in the community to the potential for terrible pain and suffering.”

RSPCA WA is also concerned that some owners may be refusing to take their sick dogs to the vets because of concerns about the costs.

‘If you’re worried about costs, ask your vet about available payment plans,” Ms Brown said.

‘RSPCA WA may also be able assist with your animal in emergency circumstances.”

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