Parvovirus puppyWelcome to the inaugural Happy Paws Fitness blog post. We are kicking off on a rather serious note, but one that every dog owner should read!

As summer draws to a close once again and Sydney’s Mardi Gras celebrations signal the winding down of the party season, an alarming outbreak of Canine Parvovirus has emerged in the Eastern Suburbs. This potentially life threatening virus is rarely seen in this area of Sydney but our local vet and Happy Paws Fitness friend, Dr Geoff Golovsky of Vet HQ in Double Bay, has warned of a number of cases in the last few weeks.

Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that is able to survive in the environment for many months, if not years. It is transmitted to other animals, objects and the environment through infected dogs feces, as well as direct contact between a healthy dog and an ill dog.

Sadly, immunocompromised dogs like the very old, very young and unwell are the most likely to contract the disease, with most cases being seen in puppies. Their brand new immune systems have trouble coping with the virus, and sadly death is common if the infection isn’t treated immediately.

Common symptoms include sever vomiting and diarrhoea, particularly if it contains traces of blood, coupled with lethargy or a noticeable change in behaviour. These symptoms can cause a dangerous level of dehydration very quickly.  It is important to act fast, and call ahead to warn your vet of these symptoms so they can prepare the clinic waiting room for your arrival (and clear it of any other dogs!). If you have other dogs at home, make sure they have no access to your unwell pup or any object or area that he or she has made contact with.

The good new is, prevention is simple, and your dog’s annual vaccination – the C3 vaccination – protects your dog from this disease (and several others) in one simple dose.  If you’re like me, and have trouble remembering to book in with your vet, ask them give you a reminder call so you can stay on top of your pup’s health more easily.

Puppies that are not yet fully vaccinated should also be kept confined at home as a precaution until their final booster has been given, and your vet has given the green light to let him or her roam the big, wide world.

Thanks for stopping by the Happy Paws Fitness blog. We will be back with regular updates on health, wellness, exercise and play tips, reviews and wonderful stories about our canine friends!

Give your pup a kiss from me xxx

Lolly Wilson (Happy Paws Fitness Manager, Blogger and Resident Vet Nurse)