While humans continue to face the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, South African pups have their own outbreak to face – the Canine Parvovirus. So far, it has spread across the country with cases reported from Cape Town to Pretoria. Here’s what you need to know to keep your pup protected.

What is Canine Parvovirus (CPV)?

Also known as Parvo, CPV is a highly contagious and unfortunately common virus that’s spread through both direct and indirect contact between pups. According to the American Kennel Club, your dog is at risk any time they sniff, lick or eat another dog’s feces, while indirect transmission can be spread through people, collars, bowls, toys and leashes that have come into contact with an infected dog.

What are the symptoms?

While CPV is treatable, it can be deadly, and many South African pups have perished over 2020 – either from the virus, or from having to be put down due to complications from the virus. It goes without saying that the sooner you catch it, the better.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Depression

Even more important than catching it is ensuring your dog is vaccinated against CPV.

According to Dr. Liza le Roux, Technical Manager at the Companion Animal Team at Zoetis South Africa, “If you start with and stick to an effective vaccination program and prevent a parvo outbreak in your household, you can save as much as R8 000 in veterinary bills.”

Luckily, at dotsure.co.za we offer a range of plans suited to every pocket, including our Superior and Ultimate plans that include Wellness Benefits that cover a range of vaccinations for your pups.

CPV sweeping SA

In early 2020, the Animal Welfare Society warned Western Cape dog-parents that there had been reports of CPV in the De Waal Park area of the Cape Town CBD, but that it seemed that the virus had been an isolated incident. Once they realized that cases had spread to the Southern Suburbs, spokesperson Allan Perrins raised the alert and asked that all dog owners ensure their pups were vaccinated.

Later, in May 2020, Perrins said they were seeing hotspots emerge in the Cape Flats, with 10 to 20 daily cases being reported from Mitchell’s Plain and Manenberg.

Just as pup parents outside of the Western Cape thought they had spared from the outbreak, in June 2020 it was reported that 45 puppies at the SAPS K9 Academy in Roodeplat (just outside Pretoria) died after contracting the deadly virus – eight from succumbing to the virus, and 37 needing to be put down.

While it’s unclear if the Western Cape and Gauteng cases are connected, one thing is clear: If your pup isn’t vaccinated for CPV, it needs to become a top priority – fast.