A TOOWOOMBA vet has warned residents about an alarming increase in the number of parvovirus cases in the area over the past few weeks.
Toowoomba Veterinary Hospital's Dr Sasha Laws-King reported 15 cases of the deadly virus in the last 10 days.
She said the cause of the increased number of cases was pet-owners failing to vaccinate their animals.
"No matter how big or small, young or old your dog is, it needs to be up to date with parvovirus vaccinations," Dr Laws-King said.
"Parvovirus is a deadly disease. It is a virus that lives in the environment for up to eight years and can infect dogs of any age, but unvaccinated puppies are more susceptible.
"The virus infects the intestinal lining, causing profuse, bloody diarrhoea which then makes the dog septic by the toxins from the gut being absorbed into the bloodstream.
"The virus also suppresses the immune system, meaning the body struggles to fight off the virus, let alone deal with the life threatening side effects. The dogs also vomit and rapidly dehydrate."
The vet said treating parvovirus was difficult due to its aggressive debilitating nature and also the high cost of treatment.
"It is incredibly contagious and we have a separate isolation area, highly qualified veterinary nurses and procedures in place to ensure the virus is not spread."
"Usually we have to put the animal down."
Dr Laws-King said the disease was easily controlled by keeping pets up to date with their vaccinations.
"A full health check is always performed prior to vaccinating your pet so any other concerns you have can be discussed at that time."
For more information about parvovirus call the Toowoomba Veterinary Hospital on 4632 8333.
- Highly contagious and deadly for pet.
- Survives well in moist, warm conditions
- Controlled easily by vaccinations
- Phone 4632 8333 for more information