Port Alberni SPCA branch manager Irene Towell with the parvovirus vaccination.

SPCA keeps Parvo virus at bay

Vigilance, safety protocols and a call to dog owners to watch out for symptoms has kept a fast-spreading animal disease at bay in Alberni.

Vigilance, safety protocols and a call to dog owners to watch out for symptoms has kept a fast-spreading animal disease at bay in the Alberni Valley.

The canine parvovirus is a contagious disease affecting dogs and puppies. It causes severe vomiting, diarrhea and immuno-suppression, and it can result in death if the dog is not treated, Port Alberni SPCA Branch Manager Irene Towell said.

In 2012, the Port Alberni SPCA took in more than 600 dogs that were stray, abandoned, unwanted and sick, Towell said. The SPCA also ships out more than 300 animals per yer to other facilities, she added.

There have been few cases of parvovirus locally in the last five years. The last one in the region was late last year from a dog brought here from the West Coast, Towell said. “We used to see more stray dogs brought in suffering from parvovirus but not anymore.”

The virus is spread through contaminated body fluids, mainly feces, Towell said. A dog doesn’t have to come into contact with an infected dog to become infected. An owner can touch an infected dog or track in some infected fecal matter then expose their dog, Towell said.

Symptoms of the disease include listlessness and displaying a depressive mood before the more severe symptoms appear.

Dogs brought into the SPCA facility with parvovirus are quarantined and a veterinarian starts them on a regime of hydration, intravenous drip and antibiotics.

Even with treatment the disease is quick and can be fatal. “There’s about a 50 per cent success rate,” Towell said.

Treatment for the virus can run $150 per day and can last anywhere up to 10 days, Towell said. Dogs can be brought in and vaccinated for $75.

“That’s a good investment in prevention,” she added.

Five years ago the SPCA partnered with Manzini Animal Hospital to administer a parvovirus vaccination program for low income pet owners, Towell said.

Pet owners can pre-register for the program and pay $25 to have their pet vaccinated against parvo. For $5 extra it can be vaccinated for rabies and checked for ear mites, Towell said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs rally for the win with five goals in third period

Port Alberni team has won two games in a row at home

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombudsman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of fatal bus crash

Swedish visitors celebrate steam donkey at McLean Mill—without the steam

Volunteers celebrate 90th birthday of mill’s vintage steam donkey

Bus crash survivor petitions Justin Trudeau to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read