MEDIA RELEASE – PARVO DEATH CAUSES POUND EVACUATION

Veterinary advice confirmed that a dog that died at the Bundaberg Pound last week had contracted the canine disease Parvo Virus.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Waste & Regulatory Services portfolio spokesman, Cr. Wayne Honor said that once the cause of death had been established Council officers instigated a planned and co-ordinated response that saw other dogs at the pound relocated to RSPCA facilities.

“Because we deal with transient dogs, strays and those dogs handed in, our pound is always exposed to the risk of Parvo,” said Cr. Honor.

“Most registered dog kennels across the region refuse to take dogs that have not been immunized but Council is not in a position to do that.”

“Over the past six weeks or so we have had a number of dogs found to have Parvo Virus through the pound. If our Animal Control Officers notice an animal is looking sickly we take them to a vet for evaluation,” said Cr. Honor. He said five dogs had died of Parvo Virus in the six week period.

“On two recent occasions we have had dogs that appeared okay but have then died overnight. Many of the Parvo cases diagnosed came from dogs held in the pound for less than 48 hours so it is quite obvious they were infected prior to being impounded,” he said.

Cr. Honor said that in the most recent case the dog had been in the pound for a few weeks prior to its death. “Council closed the pound, relocated other dogs and re-sanitised the pound under veterinary supervision. The pound is again operating normally.”

“In all cases where a dog has died of Parvo a strict sanitisation program is undertaken.”

“I believe Council is always going to have a problem with Parvo due mainly to the actions of irresponsible dog owners. Council is responsible for the control and impounding of wandering dogs and to a lesser degree, unwanted dogs.”

“Council is not responsible for the spread of disease that emanates from undertaking these actions but is actually throwing significant resources at the issue in an attempt to minimize its role in transmission of the disease around the region,” said Cr. Honor.

BACKGROUND

Canine Parvo virus is a highly contagious disease mainly in dogs passed on by contact with feces (direct or indirect contact).  It can be fatal and generally is in untreated dogs, particularly puppies.  It is well established in the community amongst dogs that are not immunised as puppies by responsible dogs owners.  There is a lot of it around in Bundaberg at the moment.  A dog with Parvo will look OK to start with but will then deteriorate starting slowly and then quite rapidly until it dies, this generally takes over 7 days from infection.  Signs are loss of condition, lethargy and diarrhea.

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