There has recently been an outbreak of a serious animal disease, called Canine Parvovirus (CPV), in Grahamstown. The virus appears to have spread from greater Grahamstown to the SPCA. Recently, the SPCA noticed that puppies were showing symptoms of the disease and several of the dogs have had to be euthanised.
The virus is extremely contagious, with one gram of infected faeces being enough to spread the virus to 10 million susceptible dogs. Katherine Jean Townshend, member of ROAR, said that “If a non-inoculated animal catches the virus, there is nothing that can be done – the dog dies within a day.”
Thirty dogs have had to be euthanised by the SPCA since August 19, many of them from the Joza area. Monwabisi Dingana, a worker at the Grahamstown SPCA, said that he had to go into Joza Township because of the outbreak and vaccinate about 25 dogs. This is the first time an outbreak like this has happened at the SPCA and they are now making sure that the dogs brought to them are vaccinated immediately.
Symptoms of a dog with CPV include sudden weight loss, listlessness, a lack of appetite and, in the advanced stages, continuous vomiting and diarrhoea. Townshend advises the public to take their dogs to the vet as soon as they begin to show symptoms and also to have them inoculated against it as soon as possible.