Deadly Virus Strikes


South Australian pet owners have been urged to have their dogs vaccinated following an increase in reports of a deadly canine virus.


Dr Chris McIver at the Reynella Veterinary Clinic says, “A lot of people unfortunately let their (dog) vaccinations slip or don’t get their young dogs vaccinated at all and we see a rise periodically.”

Symptoms of the virus include loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, severe vomiting and diarrhoea and it can kill within a week of the first symptoms appearing.


Dr Chris McIver said the disease could take a hold very quickly.

“The dog can be fine one day and then it just strikes,” he said. “They tend to lose a lot of weight in a hurry, maybe in 10 or 12 hours. From then on it gets very serious indeed.”

“It’s a terrible disease,” Dr McIver said. “The sad thing is it’s totally preventable and the cost of vaccination is much less than the cost of treatment.”


Dr Phil McDonagh, technical services veterinarian with animal health company Boehringer-Ingelheim, explained that pet owners need to be vigilant with vaccinating their animals, ensuring that puppies are given their full course of vaccinations.


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