Port Augusta dog owners are being warned about a recent outbreak of canine parvovirus.
The disease has claimed the lives of several local pets and is highly contagious between dogs.
Canine parvovirus is deadly for dogs however it will not affect humans.
Port Augusta City Council’s general inspector Kylie McKerlie said the disease was spreading within the region.
“There has been an outbreak recently in Whyalla and Port Augusta with several cases being reported,” she said.
“It is spread through oral or nasal contact with feces or vomit of an infected dog.”
The disease has two distinct forms: cardiac and intestinal with intestinal being far more prevalent.
The common signs of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and dysentery.
The cardiac form causes respiratory or cardiovascular failure in young puppies but this is rare.
Ms McKerlie said there were several things owners could do to protect their dogs.
“Make sure your dog is vaccinated and if you move to a new property ensure all the feces is picked up and cleared from the yard as the virus stays In the feces or soil for up to a year,” she said.
“Bleach is the only household disinfectant that will kill the virus.”
Ms McKerlie said if your dog is showing any signs of the disease to seek medical attention immediately.
“Early detection may increase the chance of survival,” she said.
“The first symptom is tiredness, followed by vomiting , fever and bloody diarrhoea.”
If a dog can successfully recover from the disease they can remain contagious for up to six weeks.
Neighbours and family members with dogs should be notified of infected animals so that they can ensure that their dogs are vaccinated or tested for immunity while the contagious individual should remain in quarantine until other animals are protected.
For more information about the disease contact your local vet.