Source:  IOL (Extract)
Posted:  February 17 2021

Cape Town – With its isolation facility reaching 60% of capacity, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA has issued an amber alert urging pet owners to vaccinate their cats and dogs against rabies and parvovirus.

The animal welfare said it had noted an increase in the number of parvovirus cases locally and urged pet owners to ensure that vaccinations are kept up to date.

“This helps to improve the resistance of the animal against specific diseases such as life-threatening canine Parvovirus and Distemper. Vaccination against the parvovirus is done at an early age because puppies are especially susceptible to parvovirus,” the organisation said.

Animal Welfare Society of South Africa spokesperson Allan Perrins said they receive an overwhelming number of parvovirus cases with the number of admissions fluctuating between five and 10 positive cases per day.

“It is highly contagious and can be spread on the footwear or clothing of owners who don’t consider it necessary to vaccinate their pets because their pets never leave their property.

“The virus is so robust that it can take months before it is once again safe to reintroduce a puppy to a previously infected environment. The saying that prevention is better than cure applies 100% to keeping one’s pets safe and healthy,” he said.

Perrins said about 90% of the parvovirus positive patients were pitbull puppies.

“Almost all were acquired unvaccinated which is why they became infected. Parvo is easily preventable but very difficult and expensive to treat. Many patients succumb to the virus that annually costs thousands of puppies’ lives.

“Sadly, any adoption animal who contracts parvovirus and spends time in isolation is rarely readmitted to adoptions. To keep the dogs and puppies in our care safe we usually only treat parvovirus patients on an outpatient basis,” he said.