Outbreak on horizon for Clarence Valley
A SOUTH Grafton vet surgery is warning pet owners in three local streets to be wary of an outbreak of the deadly canine parvovirus.
Riverbank Animal Hospital practice manager Sharon Martin, said Roberts Dr, Blanch Pde and McFarlane St were hot spots for the disease.
"We had an 11-week old puppy in here with parvo today and unfortunately he didn't make it," Ms Martin said.
She said the pet owners were unfortunate because they had just moved to a house where parvo may have been in the soil.
"The pup had received its four week and 10-week vaccinations, but unfortunately the vaccines do not confer immunity until 12 weeks and there is no way of telling if the virus is in the soil," she said.
She said the surgery had also had another 10-week-old puppy die from the disease recently.
"Parvo is a horrendous disease, which can be prevented in most cases with a simple vaccination," Ms Martin said.
"A C4 vaccination which protects against parvo, distemper, hepatitis and a type of kennel cough costs $85 and a C5 which goes one better is $94.
"Treatment for parvo begins at $600 and can go to $5000 with no guarantee of the outcome."
The vet warning comes as a survey of Australian pet owners has revealed 27 per cent of owner fail to vaccinate their pets, which translates in 735,000 pets in NSW going unvaccinated.
Ms Martin said it would take witnessing one case of parvo to change people's minds about vaccination.
"In all my time in vet's surgeries I've never seen anyone whose pet survived parvo not have their pets vaccinated as soon as possible," she said.
She said cats were also in danger from a disease called feline AIDS, but could be vaccinated.
"It's a disease that's passed from cat to cat, generally when they're out at night and get into fights," she said.
She said even in the rare case an animal reacted to a vaccine it was preferable to catching the disease.
"I've never seen an animal die from a reaction to the needle," she said.