Parvovirus outbreak at Jimboomba prompts warning from RSPCA

Outbreak: The RSPCA has issued a warning for dog owners to ensure their pets' parvovirus vaccinations are up to date.
Outbreak: The RSPCA has issued a warning for dog owners to ensure their pets' parvovirus vaccinations are up to date.

The RSPCA has issued a warning for Logan and Scenic Rim dog owners to ensure their puppies' vaccinations are up to date after a parvovirus outbreak in the area.

They are also urging owners to keep their pets away from dog parks and public areas until they have been vaccinated, to stop the spread of the disease.

RSPCA Queensland's chief veterinary officer, Anne Chester, said one Jimboomba vet had treated six dogs for the disease in recent days.

Parvovirus is contagious and can be deadly to dogs.

"It attacks the lining of the gastrointestinal tract," Dr Chester said.

The disease, which mostly affects dogs aged between six weeks and six months, causes loss of appetite, bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, fever and lethargy.

In extreme cases, the disease can cause septicemia and be deadly.

It can live in the ground for months, and be spread through contact with an infected dog's faeces or vomit, or contact with surfaces like collars and water bowls.

"If a dog has been sick in its backyard, there is the potential for any new animal coming into that yard to get infected," Dr Chester said.

"There is the potential for it to live on surfaces.

"The virus can live in the ground for a long time."

Dr Chester urged dog owners to make sure their pets' vaccinations were current.

The first vaccination should be when the dog is between six and eight weeks old, and the dog should be vaccinated again at about the 16 week mark.

Dr Chester said owners should then check with their vets to discuss booster injections.

"People could be misguided, thinking their pet is protected, when it's not," Dr Chester said.

Meanwhile, she said it was vital owners kept their young puppies away from areas with lots of dogs.

"It's important puppies don't go down to dog parks, or walk the streets, until they are protected by the vaccine,' Dr Chester said.

"It can be expensive to treat because the dogs need intensive care."

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