A Leeds vet has issued advice over Parvovirus in the wake of several confirmed cases of Parvo in the past two weeks.
There have been at least three outbreaks of Parvo in Leeds in the past fortnight.
-> Parvo warning: The areas where Parvovirus has been confirmed in Leeds
James Harris from White Cross Vets said: “There have been several cases in the Leeds, Guiseley and Bradford areas during July and August, but we have not seen any new cases over the last week in Leeds.
"There are still outbreaks in other places across the UK, but the recent wet weather has helped a lot, as it washes the deadly virus, which is spread mainly through dog faeces, away into the earth.
“Anyone who is concerned that their dog might be showing signs of the highly contagious parvovirus, which is one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases that dogs face and can often kill within a few days, should contact a vet straight away."
The symptoms of Parvo - according to White Cross Vets:
Symptoms include diarrhoea, severe vomiting, loss of appetite or sudden weight loss, dehydration, bloody faeces, a high temperature and lethargy.
The disease has a 50% mortality rate and is highly contagious.
“Dog owners also really need to make sure that they are up to date with vaccines and puppies must receive their core vaccines.
"The easiest and safest way to protect dogs against parvovirus is by vaccinating against it and keeping up to date with the annual vaccinations.
"Most of the cases that we’ve seen in the latest outbreak have been dogs that have fallen behind with their annual injections or puppies that haven’t been properly vaccinated.
"The simple solution is for dog owners to get their pets booked in now for a vaccination to avoid them falling victim to this devastating disease.”
-> Leeds dog Patch dies after picking up Parvo virus
How to disinfect your dog safely - and the products to avoid, according to Parvo Watch:
Jeyes Fluid isn’t safe around pets, it can burn their paws and then burn their mouth and throat if they lick their feet.
The best thing to spray the outside of your property is with bleach diluted to 30:1 - you can spray all of your garden with it and also it can be used for wiping down all hard surfaces such as cupboards, walls etc.
Virkon or Anigene is what vets use to spray the surgeries with, so it’s safe to use on all furnishings, surfaces, clothes, bedding etc 10 minutes after it's dried.
Formula H is similar, as is Parvocide.
Parvo can be spread on tyres, shoes, other animals etc – so you could have a shallow tray with a disinfectant in it that people visiting dip their shoes in.
-> Parvo warning: Another dog picks up Parvo in Leeds
Can vaccinated dogs be affected by Parvo?
Not normally, but it's not a 100% guarantee. It does dramatically reduce the risk of infection, though.
Certain breeds are more at risk and vaccinating very young puppies runs the risk of the vaccine not taking properly.
Whilst the virus in the vaccine can't cause disease as it is changed to stop this, and if you vaccinate an unwell dog, part of its immune system will be taken up by boosting the immune system from the vaccine
The majority of dogs that get Parvo are not vaccinated and it's the vaccinated dogs that limit the outbreaks to smaller numbers of cases.
The incubation period for Parvo can be 3 – 10 days and in extreme cases up to 13 days. Parvo can lie in the soil for up to 12 months.