VETS in the Tamworth region have been run off their feet in January healing hounds feeling the brunt of virus and venom.
Some clinics have reported a marked rise in parvovirus cases in the last three weeks which is also prompting pet owners to visit veterinarians to check vaccination status.
The spike in parvo cases could mean awareness of the canine-borne disease has dwindled in recent years.
Marius Small Animal Veterinary Clinic surgeon Robyn Edleston said she’d met with a lot of people enquiring about their pets’ immunity.
“They’re checking their animal’s vaccinations status because they have known someone who’s had an animal that has had parvo or died from parvo, so they’re worried,” Dr Edleston said.
“There is enough going around that everyone knows about it.”
She vaccination was important because treatment could be expensive and survival rates weren’t great.
Signs and symptoms of parvo can include vomiting, diarrhoea, salivating and listlessness.
She said snake bites had been keeping her clinic busy during January too, but there hadn’t been any cases of heat stress yet.
Snake bite survival was usually good if it’s treated early.
“If you suspect your dog has been bitten, you’re better off to bring them in,” she said.
“If you can safely, at least take a photo of the snake so we can identify it.”
While there’s been no cases of heat stress, Dr Edleston said the prolonged hot spell had brought on a range of other maladies.
“A lot of eye problems, dogs with ulcers and grass seeds and a lot of skin problems because of the weather,” she said.
“The dry grass and all of the burrs are causing irritations.”
Chris Collins’ Piper Street clinic has seen 32 dogs with parvo since Christmas, as well as two litters of puppies.
It was an unusual spike in numbers, which Dr Collins believed was brought on by the conditions.
“It just took that little bit of rain to get things moving,” he said.
“But there’s obviously a lot of people not getting their dogs vaccinated.”
He said puppies need vaccinations at six, 10 and 14 weeks.