Protecting your dog from devastating Parvovirus

Stuart Cooke.
Stuart Cooke.

You may have seen reports in the media in the last few weeks about Canine Parvovirus, a devastating condition which is most common in puppies but can also affect adult dogs.

An animal refuge in Cumbria recently had to quarantine its kennels and vaccinate all the animals there to stop the virus spreading after a stray dog that was taken there showed symptoms of the highly infectious disease.

There have also been outbreaks of Parvovirus this year in Wales, Hull and Grimsby.

There is even a Twitter account @ParvoAlert urging dog owners to tweet the first half of their postcode if they become aware of cases in their area.

Parvovirus is horrific and potentially lethal so it’s vitally important that you make sure your dog has been vaccinated against it. The virus can spread from dog to dog through direct contact, through infected faeces or the virus can be brought into a dog’s environment on shoes that have come into contact with infected faeces.

It is highly resistant and can remain in the environment for many months. Symptoms include high fever, listlessness, vomiting and blood stained diarrhoea.

The best way to protect your dog from Parvovirus is to have it vaccinated, ideally when it is a puppy. The Parvovirus vaccine usually always makes up part of your puppy’s primary vaccine course. If you think your dog is displaying any symptoms get in touch with your local vet straight away.

Stuart Cooke is managing director of Calder Vets, which has 12 practices in Yorkshire – including its animal hospital in Dewsbury, and branches in Mirfield, Wakefield, Sandal, Huddersfield, Brighouse, Horbury, Heckmondwike, Tingley, Penistone and Denby Dale.