An outbreak of canine parvovirus has forced Gunnedah Shire Council to temporarily close the animal drop box facility at the pound.
It comes after a number of younger dogs, which had been surrendered anonymously, tested positive for the virus.
In a bid to reduce the risk to other seized animals at the facility the surrender boxes on Quia Road were closed last week, and will remain so until further notice.
Council is asking any residents who may want to surrender a dog to contact the regulatory services team during business hours on (02) 6740 2100 to discuss their options.
Canine parvovirus is a serious and often fatal gastrointestinal viral disease that impacts unvaccinated puppies and dogs.
Gunnedah Veterinary Hospital vet Chelsea Mitchell, said they have treated about 14 cases in the last month alone, and some of the dogs had to be euthanised.
Ms Mitchell said the virus was generally spread in contaminated faeces by unvaccinated dogs.
"Clinical signs are pretty consistent - lethargy, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhoea," Ms Mitchell said.
"Not all dogs will vomit and not all dogs will have diarrhoea. If it's quite severe, they will have blood in the diarrhoea."
There is no cure for canine parvovirus.
Ms Mitchell said hydration was vital to survival. "Because they aren't able to keep down water... they're severely dehydrated and usually get secondary bacteria infections, and that's usually what kills them," she said.
If owners suspect their dog has parvovirus, Ms Mitchell asked them not to visit, but rather call to arrange a test before the animal enters the clinic.
Dogs and puppies should be vaccinated at six, eight and 12 weeks, then they should receive a yearly booster. Vaccination is 99.9 percent effective in preventing parvovirus infections.
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