Seasonal virus putting exotic puppies and unvaccinated dogs at risk


PRIKSHA GURUNG

Gangtok, 20 Apr: Rachel has been shattered ever since her first pet Leo, passed

away after one week of taking ill. Leo was lethargic and suffering from violent diarrhoea and vomiting. When Rachel took Leo to the vet, it was diagnosed to have contracted the dreaded Parvo Virus disease.

Sadly, despite the best of efforts to contain the disease with antibiotics, saline drips and other medicines, Leo did not make it. Parvo Virus was first discovered in India around 1980. The main symptoms of Canine Parvovirus include bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy that can lead to dehydration. Veterinarians in Gangtok are cautioning pet owners of a severe outbreak of Parvovirus, a virus which is specially dangerous for pups and exotic breeds. Dr Shivani Pradhan at the government veterinary hospital in Gangtok informs that they have been attending to an average of 38 days per month over the past three months at their hospital. The numbers for the rest of the state will obviously be just as severe, and not every pet is brought to hospital, so the disease could even be more widespread. Dr Pradhan stresses that they have been treating Canine Parvo Virus every day. In most cases, people being their pets to the vet too late into the infection. Doctors advise that pet owners keep an eye to catch symptoms early and make a doctor’s appointment at the earliest symptoms.

Canine Parvo Virus is very usually very common in Gangtok during winters, but appears to have lingered on longer this year. The virus primarily attacks the stomach of dogs, with young puppies, unvaccinated and exotic breeds at much higher risk. Exotic breeds, it is informed, are more sensitive to infection and their mortality rate is also higher. Contact with infected faeces or through direct contact with infected dogs are the primary modes of transmission. Indirect transmission occurs when a person who has been recently exposed to an infected dog touches the puppy or when a puppy encounters a contaminated object like food or water bowls, collars and leashes or the hands and clothing of people who have handled infected dogs. The virus is so resilient that it can remain potent for up to a year even outdoors. De-worming for Puppies within 2-3 weeks of birth is very important and after de-worming

vaccination has to be done to prevent Canine Parvovirus. Although there is no vaccine for Parvovirus, properly vaccinated pets are known to have milder infections. As for treatment, Canine Parvovirus is treated with supportive therapy in which pets are prescribed multivitamins to boost their immune system

against Parvovirus. It is a complicated and traumatic virus. Best of pet-owners took adequate precautions.