The Parvovirus has resurfaced in Grand Cayman and those at Island Veterinary Services are urging the public to keep their dogs, more so their puppies, inside if they haven’t been vaccinated.
This comes as they said there is an outbreak of the infectious Parvovirus has claimed the lives of several dogs.
The virus attacks cells in the dog’s intestines and can be fatal within 72 hours.
“Usually, you will see them stop eating, they will get really lethargic, very quiet, not very active and they’ll also get bloody diarrhea.”
Dr. Joyce Follows said the stray dog problem plays a huge factor.
“The stray dog population is probably a large cause of why it’s spreading through the island because they are not vaccinated and if your dog is not up to date on vaccines they can catch it,” said Dr. Follows.
Dogs can pick the virus up by touching anything that an infected dog has touched, including bedding, brushes and clothing, grass in the yard or even on a human that was not disinfected after handling a Parvo-infected dog.
When a dog develops Parvo, according to Dr. Follows, treatment can range from $62 to $1,000 and the dog may die despite aggressive treatment. Even with the correct treatment, only 20% of dogs survive.
“Some people might be put off with the cost of vaccination but the cost of vaccination is a small price to pay should your animal get sick and you are trying to save their life,” said dog owner Ondine Bult.
Adult dogs with up to date vaccinations for Parvovirus can be vaccinated every 3 years depending on their veterinarian’s protocol.
The Cayman Islands Humane Society released a statement late Thursday (21 February) saying it is “aware of the current Parvo outbreak and have taken necessary and relevant precautions to avoid it spreading to the shelter. We encourage every dog owner to vaccinate their dogs and puppies, keep them up to date and in the meantime, avoid exposure.”