Dogs dying in parvo outbreak

Deadly canine parvovirus is continuing to be a problem in Marlborough, with three dogs succumbing in the past two months.

The Vet Centre Marlborough senior veterinarian Dr Mark Wiseman says he has seen 16 infected dogs in the past six weeks. Three had died.

"Since the beginning of December we have had an outbreak of the parvovirus and there is no sign of it slowing down," he said.

The parvovirus is a highly contagious and painful virus that strips the lining of a dog's stomach. Owners needed to ensure their dog's vaccinations are up to date to prevent them catching it, Mark says.

All three vet clinics in Blenheim had, on average, two puppies a day coming in with the virus, he says.

There is no specific treatment for the virus but with intensive care some dogs survive. Care is expensive, with costs totalling more than $1000.

Parvovirus spreads through infected dog faeces and can survive in soil for many years. Puppies were most vulnerable but the virus can be eliminated if puppies are vaccinated at 6 to 8 weeks old, then monthly until 16 weeks, which would cost $210 to $225.

The Marlborough Express