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Paws & Claws – Summer 2017

Seasons Greetings From The Team At Northland Veterinary Group

Seasons greetings from all the team at Northland Veterinary Group. We thank you for your support over this past 12 months.

While the Christmas and New Year period is a time when humans tend to over-indulge in treats, it has the potential to be a disaster for our pets, especially dogs. With their sharp noses, they will sniff out any food items in presents under the Christmas tree, have the parcel open in a flash, and be scoffing the treats before you are aware of what is happening. Chocolate is very dangerous for dogs, so please ensure that they don’t accidently have access to any. Otherwise, you might find your pet unexpectedly needs the assistance of one of our vets on call over the holiday period. Other foods that are dangerous are Christmas cake, ham fat, bones from your Christmas roast, and leftovers that have been in the fridge for too long.

Summer is the time when fleas can get out of control. Please see our friendly Customer Service Team for the best treatments for fleas, ticks and worms for your pet.

If you are travelling with or without your pets over summer, please ensure that their vaccinations are up to date.

We all get hot and bothered in the summer heat. Ensure that your pet has ready access to water, and don’t leave them in a hot car.

Stay safe over the summer. Enjoy the wide open spaces and sunshine in Northland.

 

Parvovirus Is Rampant Again

If your pup has the symptoms described then phone us but ensure that your pup stays in the car.

Parvovirus enteritis is a serious viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract of young dogs. However, we are also seeing it in older dogs this year. The virus attacks the cells of the gut resulting in vomiting and profuse diarrhoea. Parvovirus also suppresses the immune system.

The management of parvovirus enteritis may include intravenous fluids and other supportive treatment.

What is parvovirus?

Parvovirus is a virus that attacks young dogs and infects their intestine. It destroys the cells that line the intestine and causes vomiting and very severe diarrhoea that is often bloody, and it can affect heart muscle. Large numbers of virus particles are shed in the faeces of infected dogs and may infect pups and dogs, especially those that have not been vaccinated or have not completed their vaccine course. Parvovirus can survive in the environment for months or years.

Signs of parvovirus infection?

Dogs that are infected usually develop the signs of disease 4-7 days after they are exposed to the infecting virus. Infection is usually a result of eating infected material, mostly excretions from infected dogs. The initial signs of infection are listlessness, anorexia (failure to eat) and vomiting. The disease progresses to dehydration, diarrhoea and severe depression. Infected dogs may develop a state of shock due to dehydration or secondary bacterial infection and eventually die.

How will my vet know what is wrong with my dog?

Your vet will probably suspect that your dog might have parvovirus enteritis from the symptoms that you describe, the dog’s vaccination history and the findings on physical examination. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a test that detects the presence of parvovirus in the faeces. A blood test may show a severe decrease in the white blood cell count. Blood tests to look for antibody levels are not very useful as the results usually take too long to come back.

Is there any treatment for parvovirus enteritis?

Currently, there is no direct treatment against the virus. Therapy is “supportive” and consists mainly of injecting the dog with fluids and electrolytes to correct dehydration. In addition, dogs are treated with drugs to stop vomiting, prevent gastric ulceration, and with antibiotics, to prevent secondary infection with bacteria.

Treatment can be very expensive and may be unrewarding. Vaccination to prevent problems is comparatively cheap.

Will my dog get better?

If the disease is diagnosed early (before your dog deteriorates severely) and appropriate medical treatment is given, your dog may have a chance of survival. However, many dogs do not survive despite proper medical care and early diagnosis. The disease appears to be more severe in young pups and in those that have had no vaccination against parvovirus or have only just begun their vaccination course.

How can I stop my dog getting  parvovirus enteritis?

It is essential to vaccinate your dog according to your vet’s recommendations. Pups that are born to vaccinated dams usually have antibodies from their mothers (maternal antibodies) that protect them against infection during the first few weeks of their lives. The pup is in danger after the level of maternal antibodies declines in his blood and that is when he should be vaccinated. Maternal antibodies prevent active vaccination, therefore a vaccine should be injected when the maternal antibodies are no longer protective and that time differs between pups. The vaccination is repeated in order to make sure that the dog has had an effective vaccine dose and to boost this effect. Additionally, bitches can be vaccinated before they become pregnant.

To prevent the spread of infection, sick dogs should be isolated from other dogs, and cages and pens should be properly disinfected and cleaned. Pups that have not  completed their vaccination schedule should not be allowed on the ground where other dogs might have been.

Some breeds of dog may need different vaccination protocols. Your vet will be able to advise you on which vaccinations your dog needs.

Opening Hours During Festive Season

During Christmas and New Year our Maunu Rd clinic will be open 9am to 4pm on Saturdays & Sundays. All clinics will be open for their usual hours Wednesday to Friday.

We will be closed on Monday/Tuesday 25th & 26th Dec, and 1st & 2nd January.

There will always be a vet on call for those unexpected emergencies.

On Line Booking

You can now book vaccinations on line. When you are sent a reminder via txt or email you will also receive a link to our on line booking.

This is only for vaccinations as yet, but might be expanded later.

FREE Beach Towel

Purchase more than $70.00 worth of Hills cat food, or more than $100.00 worth of Hills dog food, and get a FREE round beach towel. While stocks last.