AN OUTBREAK of the highly contagious and potentially fatal parvo virus at Griffith Pound has pushed vets to warn pet owners to have their beloved pooches vaccinated.
Spring is a notoriously bad season for the disease but the outbreak is proving difficult for council to contain.
Four dogs collected recently from the pound by rescue organisation Needy Paws required extensive vet treatment, costing the charity thousands of dollars.
Council executive service manager Shireen Donaldson said council was doing its best to contain the outbreak, which was endemic through pounds across NSW.
Mrs Donaldson said despite disinfecting regularly, the porous concrete at the facility made it difficult to eliminate the virus.
Amy Dutton from Griffith Veterinary Hospital said the only prevention against parvo virus was vaccination.
“Anyone who has not had their dog vaccinated against parvo needs to go and do it right away,” Ms Dutton said.
“It is very common at this time of year and we have had a few cases.”
Ms Dutton said the virus could live in soil for years and quickly spread between animals.
People dropping infected dogs at the pound only made the problem worse, she said.
“It is a virus so we have to wait for the dog to fight it off themselves but we can support them by keeping up their fluids,” she said.
“But it is pretty fatal if left untreated and it’s a slow and horrible death.”
Puppies that have not had their full course of vaccinations need to be kept at home until the course is complete.
Symptoms of parvo include vomiting and dystentry, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever and breathing difficulties.