Vet Dr Dean Tait vaccinating against Parvovirus.
IPSWICH vets are warning dog owners to ensure their pets are vaccinated after reporting an outbreak of the deadly Parvovirus in the city.
Greencross Moreton veterinary director Dr Jim Kennedy said his Redbank Plains-based clinic had this month already seen 15 dogs diagnosed with the deadly virus.
Dr Kennedy's warnings of a parvo outbreak comes just two months after Dr Scott Campbell from the Booval Veterinary Hospital told The Queensland Times that incidents of the virus were on the rise. Dr Kennedy said in one of his cases this month, seven pups from one litter were affected and two required hospital treatment before being allowed home.
"Those two pups were very lucky to survive, and for any vet and animal lover it really is soul destroying to see them go through such intense suffering," Dr Kennedy said.
"The amount of parvo cases we see fluctuates over time but at the moment we are seeing lots of cases coming in."
He said the virus could not be cured in an infected dog, with supportive therapy the only option vets had.
Dr Kennedy said even with therapy a number of parvovirus infected dogs will die, and said vaccination was the best way to combat the problem.
He said most parvovirus cases requiring hospitalisation where dogs are not previous immunised, cost between $500 and $1000. He estimated vaccination costs were between $70 and $100.
"It's far cheaper to pay for a vaccination than it is to pay for a week or more of hospitalisation and the real chance of your mate dying," he said.
"We as vets and vet nurses hate seeing dogs coming in with parvo and it breaks our heart to see people realise they can't afford to pay for treatment and they have to go with euthanasia because of that."
The virus – which attacks dogs' gastrointestinal tract causing internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea – is historically highly prevalent in Ipswich.
It can spread via dog-to-dog contact, or via contaminated soil and grass, where it can survive and infect dogs for up to five years.
Puppies can take three vaccinations from six to eight weeks, 10-12 weeks and 14-16 weeks, with booster shots for each following year.