A puppy.
A puppy. Contributed

It's time to vaccinate

THERE have been at least two confirmed cases of parvovirus in the Clarence Valley this week, prompting vets to encourage dog owners to ensure their pet's vaccinations were up to date.

Grafton Vet Clinic posted on Facebook that they had two cases in 24 hours following a period of hot weather.

Sam Bindle from Riverbank Animal Hospital said while they haven't seen any parvovirus yet, it will be prominent in the summer months.

"Parvovirus upsets (dogs') guts, they get severe gastroenteritis, which can lead to severe diarrhoea," he said.

Mr Bindle said it's as the dog is producing the diarrhoea that they spread the virus, which can be picked up by other dogs in the area.

"The virus can stay healthy for many months under the right conditions, another dog only needs to sniff that soil or eat a bit of the soil then it will become infected," he said.

"Puppies and young dogs are most prone to it and often don't survive unfortunately."

Mr Bindle said the Grafton and South Grafton areas were some of the worst spots for parvovirus in the Clarence Valley and urged dog owners to do the right thing and vaccinate.

"It's a good idea to get them vaccinated before the virus does start coming out," he said.

"Usually if you give a vaccine to the dog, in most cases it's covered after two weeks, depending on the age of the dog."

Mr Bindle said last year, Riverbank Animal Hospital started to see parvovirus pop up around January and February.

"Anyone without dogs vaccinated, now is the time to get vaccinated," he said.

Mr Bindle said there are boosters available for adult dogs too.