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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Mumbai: Vets caution dog owners of highly contagious virus outbreak

Parvovirus is a contagious virus that affects the intestinal tract of canines with puppies being more susceptible.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
Updated: December 17, 2021 5:16:42 pm
Vets have asked pet owners to not take their puppies out if they are not fully vaccinated.

Veterinarians are cautioning pet owners about a severe outbreak of highly contagious parvovirus, after 2,000 pet and stray dogs in Amravati city (50 per cent of the city’s dog population), were affected by the virus last month.

Parvovirus is a contagious virus that affects the intestinal tract of canines with puppies being more susceptible. Bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, drastic weight loss, dehydration and lethargy are some of the symptoms. Contact with infected faeces, contaminated water or direct contact with the infected dogs can spread the virus. Vets have asked pet owners to not take their puppies out if they are not fully vaccinated.

Shubhamnath Sayanke, para-veterinarian from WASA Conservation organisation, said, “The civic-run animal hospital is getting reports of at least 20 dogs affected by the virus daily. The animal birth control programme, which helps control the stray dog population, dog vaccination and rabies, has not been implemented in the city for the past three years as the civic body has not appointed contractor/agency for the same.”

Sayanke added that while there is no official data available on the number of deaths, as per the animal rescue organisation’s data, 17 stray dogs died during treatment last month.

Sayanke added, “The first dose is given at 45 days old and the second 21 days after the first dose. To properly protect canines, it is necessary to administer the vaccine to them while they are puppies and then continue to do the same every year.”

Veterinarians have advised dog owners to ensure their pet vaccinations are up to date with the highly contagious virus possibly causing death in dogs. The virus has reported a 90 per cent mortality rate. Parvovirus has no cure and inoculating a puppy or a dog gives them a fighting chance against the infection, which is also based on body immunity.

The virus, which becomes active when the weather changes, mostly attack the intestinal tracts and stomach of dogs, especially exotic breeds. The virus is transmitted when dogs pass blood stools or when they come in contact with other infected dogs or through water contaminated by the virus.

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