Parvovirus: What is the canine virus affecting over 2,000 dogs in Amaravati?

Vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, dehydration, drastic weight loss, and lethargy are some symptoms of the virus, which has a reported mortality rate of 90%.

Nearly 2,000 stray and pet dogs in Amaravati city — 50% of the city’s canine population — were hit by the virus last month. (IE)
Nearly 2,000 stray and pet dogs in Amaravati city — 50% of the city’s canine population — were hit by the virus last month. (IE)

Veterinarians have cautioned pet owners against a severe parvovirus outbreak after nearly 2,000 pet and stray dogs in Maharashtra’s Amaravati city were affected by the canine virus last month.

What is Parvovirus?
A highly contagious viral disease, parvovirus can be life-threatening in puppies and dogs. It affects the canines’ intestinal tract, with puppies being more vulnerable. Vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, dehydration, drastic weight loss, and lethargy are some symptoms of the virus, which has a reported mortality rate of 90%.

Amravati cases
Nearly 2,000 stray and pet dogs in Amaravati city — 50% of the city’s canine population — were hit by the virus last month. WASA Conservation, a rescue centre for stray dogs, said the government-run clinic was getting daily reports of at least 20 dogs being affected. Experts suspect that the recent rise in cases in pets is due to Covid-19, which has forced many pet owners to avoid timely vaccination. On the other hand, non-implementation of animal birth control programmes that keep the stray population in check, rabies and dog vaccination over the past three years have led to parvovirus cases in street dogs.

While the city doesn’t have any official data on the number of deaths, the animal rescue organisation’s data suggest 17 strays died during treatment.

How the virus spreads in dogs
The contagious virus spreads through contact with an infected dog or indirect contact with a contaminated object. The dogs can be exposed to the virus every time it licks, sniffs, or consumes infected faeces. Indirect transmission occurs when a person exposed to an infected dog touches a puppy or when a puppy comes in contact with a contaminated object such as water bowl, leashes, and collars.

How to keep canines safe
There is still no cure for parvovirus and inoculating a dog or puppy offers a fighting chance against the infection. The first dose is administered at 45 days old and the second 21 days after that. It is necessary to vaccinate the canines when they are puppies and then continue to do so every year to properly protect them.

Vets have also asked pet owners to avoid taking their puppies out if they were not vaccinated. They have also suggested not letting the dog touch the ground. Being a resistant virus, parvo survives in the environment and can contaminate anything. Vets have also cautioned pet owners against touching or petting strays as the virus can then be transmitted through touch and clothing.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express Telegram Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.