Dog owners are being urged to ensure their pets' vaccinations are up to date after the deadly, and highly contagious, Parvovirus broke out in the Redcar area.
There have also been cases confirmed in Darlington and Bishop Auckland in recent weeks.
Dog owners alerted
Katherine Claxton, White Cross Redcar's clinical director, said: "Like many other local veterinarians, we have treated several cases in recent weeks and we want to alert vigilant dog owners for symptoms, as they can take up to two weeks for dogs to display them after being exposed to the virus.
"All dog owners in the area should be aware of this outbreak, which is one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases that dogs face and which can often kill in a few days." The bowel attacks the white blood cells, and when the Young dogs are infected, the virus can damage the muscles of the heart and cause heart problems throughout life.
Parvovirus treatment cost ranges from $500 to $12000.
Their standard treatment consists of:
- Hydration via IV fluids or Sub-Q ($150 or more for a bag of salt water)
- Some prescribe an anti-nausea/anti-emetic
- Some prescribe pain medication
- They may perform an in-house Parvo test. These are very unreliable as they often come back with False Negatives, i.e. the vet tells you that your dog does not have Parvo when in reality he does.
To compound this mistake, they coerce people into getting a Parvo shot based on the test results.
This means your dog is exposed and probably infected, and now the vet has introduced a ton of live Parvovirus particles into your dog, encased in a toxic chemical mix disguised as a delivery system, end result: your dog now will come down with full-blown Parvo.
This little exercise will cost you about $200 USD and a whole lot of grief shortly thereafter.
This is why dog owners are asked to get their dogs vaccinated
What Do We Vaccinate our Dogs for?
Vaccinations protect against infectious diseases which can be fatal.
Vaccinations protect your dog against:
A highly contagious virus spread through contact with infected feces. The virus can also live on shoes, clothes, and floors for many months. Symptoms include vomiting, severe bloody diarrhea and lethargy. Parvovirus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases. Puppies are especially susceptible.
2. Canine distemper
A contagious virus spread through saliva, blood, or urine. Initial symptoms include red, watery eyes, nasal discharge, and fever. Later symptoms include lethargy, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. It can also cause hardening of the footpads and nose. It is fatal in up to 50 percent of cases.
A bacterial infection spread through infected rat urine and contaminated water. Symptoms include fever, muscle tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, jaundice, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, dogs can develop kidney damage and liver failure. It can be fatal even with the best treatment.
4. Infectious Canine Hepatitis
A viral disease spread through urine, saliva, blood, feces and nasal discharges. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, vomiting, coughing, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In severe cases, the disease can cause jaundice and liver failure and can result in seizures and coma. Even with the best treatment severe cases of infectious canine hepatitis can be fatal.
Recent development in the treatment of parvovirus infection.
In-house treatment can also be done with modern medicine.
The treatment relies on two drugs recently released by Pfizer Animal Health (which funded the CSU parvovirus study): Maropitant, a strong anti-nausea medication given under the skin once a day; and Convenia, an antibiotic given under the skin once, and lasting two weeks; as well as administration of fluids under the skin three times daily.
This new protocol is developed at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital may help save "parvo puppies" and give their families a chance to give their dogs a healthy life.