Flu season for furry friends in the Highlands

AS THE nights get colder, the morning chill lasts longer and the flu season arrives in the Central Highlands, remember your canine companions as the contagious parvovirus is "definitely" here.

More than a dozen cases of parvovirus were detected this month in Clermont alone, and veterinarian Dr Alan Guilfoyle said it was the responsibility of owners to make sure their animals weren't spreading the infection.

"If you own an animal when living in a community, it's your duty of care to ensure the health and well-being of that animal, and that includes its vaccinations against diseases," Dr Guifoyle said.

"(Parvovirus) is not always possible to treat and treatments that give the dog a reasonable chance are very expensive - 15 times the cost of the vaccination.

"If a vaccine is available to treat a disease, vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate."

Emerald veterinarian Dr Angela Reynolds said every dog - adults and puppies - was at risk of catching the deadly disease.

"The first thing that happens is the dog starts acting lethargic and goes off its food and then it usual progresses to severe vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood in both of those," Dr Reynolds said.

"In Brisbane and Sydney and those types of places the veterinarians tend to extend the vaccine out to every... three years but unfortunately in central Queensland, because we have such a big stray dog population, every vet in this area recommends yearly vaccinations."


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