Would’e? with his owner, Mark Smith, gets vaccinated annually.
Would’e? with his owner, Mark Smith, gets vaccinated annually.

Parvo virus outbreak in shire

A recent outbreak of parvo virus in the Byron Shire has put all dog lovers and owners on alert against the deadly and highly infectious virus.


With the deaths of two dogs and three others stricken in the Byron Shire area, pet owners are being urged to ensure that their dogs are up-to-date with their vaccinations.


Would’e? is a very healthy corgi cross red cattle dog with beautiful big, brown eyes and a placid nature.


He has owned his owner since he was a three-week-old puppy.


“I got him from a pound in Brisbane 14-and-a-half years ago,” business owner of Running Dog Designs and owner of Would’e?, Mark Smith, said.


“I called him Would’e? because I always wondered ‘would he or wouldn’t he’.”


Would’e? helps out in Mr Smith’s business by guarding the front door each day.


“He’ll come to the office with me and sit quietly, then I take him for walks every couple of hours,” Mr Smith said.


“If something happened to him, it would be pretty sad.


“He had all his puppy shots and goes for his annual check-up to the vet.”


Byron Shire Council has released a statement requesting pet owners to help stop the spread of parvo virus in the area.


Council ranger Gerry Burnage said two dogs picked up showed symptoms of parvo.


“The best way to protect your dog is prevention,” Mr Burnage said.


“A yearly vaccination at your local vet is the best way to protect your dog and stop the spread of the disease.”


Parvo is a highly infectious virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular systems of dogs.


The main source of the virus is the faeces of infected dogs and it can be easily passed on via the hair or feet, contaminated shoes, clothes and other objects.


The virus also seems resistant to the effect of heat, detergent and alcohol and therefore can remain in the environment for up to a year after an infected dog has been in the area.


Warning signs


Dogs that become infected usually show signs within seven to 10 days.


Signs may include bloody diarrhoea, unwillingness to eat and repeated episodes of vomiting.


Parvo may affect dogs of all ages but is most common in dogs under one year of age.


Treatment includes the administration of intravenous fluids containing electrolytes and antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs are given to prevent or control septicaemia.


While two dogs have succumbed to the virus, the three other dogs that contracted the disease have all since gone home.


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