Docs caution dog owners against deadly parvo

In the past few weeks, many unvaccinated puppies and dogs in the city have been diagnosed with the highly contagious, parvovirus, raising concerns among pet lovers.
Representative Image
Representative Image

Chennai

Advising dog owners to follow basic precautions, doctors and animal activists, who have witnessed many such cases, said that the canines should be provided extra care during the winter as it could spread contagious infections like parvo.

Parvo infection caused by virus could lead to severe dehydration, secondary bacterial infection, sepsis or severe intestinal haemorrhage, leaving the survival rate of the infected dogs to about 70 per cent when treated at hospitals or sometimes even death.

Stating that unvaccinated puppies are at higher risk of developing parvo, Dr C Chandrasekaran of Madras Veterinary hospital said, “When vulnerable dogs come in contact with a contaminated area, they are infected orally. The dogs that are sick or even recovering from parvovirus infection can pass incredibly large numbers of the virus from their faeces and the dangerous virus particle can survive for months in the environment.”

Asserting that there is no cure for parvo as it is a viral infection, Dr Chandrasekaran said, “The treatment for parvovirus is focused on treating the symptoms and preventing secondary bacterial infections, preferably in a hospital environment. Intensive therapy and systemic support are the keys to recovery.”

“The immunity for a dog’s lifetime could be cut short by the virus. Parvo is painful but also preventable. As a responsible pet owner, one has the duty to protect their pet. They must be given vaccinations once in every four weeks. However, failing to follow the routine, the owners realise the importance of the vaccination only after the dog falls sick,” said Dinesh Baba, an activist.

“Though there are facilities to vaccinate dogs, owners are not taking any effort to do so,” he added.

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