Gympie parvo spike
GYMPIE dog owners have been warned to keep an eye on the health of their pets after the region's largest vet practice reported a spike in dogs presenting with the deadly parvovirus.
Gympie Veterinary Services' vet Ayrial Mammino said the practice had diagnosed about 10 cases in a matter of weeks.
Parvo is a highly infectious virus that attacks the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular system of dogs.
It was first noted in Australia in 1978 and has been wreaking havoc amongst the unvaccinated population since.
Death rates in unvaccinated dogs are still as high as 92%.
The virus is extremely contagious and is spread by oral or nasal contact with contaminated faeces, objects or a contaminated environment.
The faeces of an infected dog contains a high concentration of virus particles. These are extremely resistant to the effects of heat, detergents and alcohol and can persist in the environment for a year or longer.
"This explains why many people could be unaware that they are exposing their dog to the disease," Dr Mammino said.
The signs of parvovirus are often sudden in onset and include one or all of the following: bloody diarrhoea, lethargy, loss of appetite and frequent vomiting.