More clinics planned as dozens of dogs get jab for deadly parvovirus
Dozens of dogs received a potentially life-saving jab at the Fairmont Southampton on Sunday as part of a vaccine drive to combat the canine parvovirus.
Volunteers said that while the turnout was smaller than a previous clinic, held at Bulls Head Car Park last month, owners were still bringing their pets at a steady pace through the morning.
In the first hour of the clinic, about 25 dogs received their vaccinations.
Jonathan Nisbett of the Bermuda Veterinary Association said: “We are having some success today. It has been steady so far – not very busy, but steady.”
Dr Nisbett said the drive came after veterinarians reported an increase in the number of cases of parvovirus in Bermuda.
He said: “They were seeing a lot of dogs that were not vaccinated and falling victim to parvovirus.
“It’s a gastrointestinal disease that causes inflammation, vomiting, diarrhoea and it is often fatal and requires extensive treatment which can also be quite expensive.
“Prevention is easier than cure, so for that reason we are trying to promote this vaccination to avoid animals becoming sick as much as possible.
“This is a concerted effort for the welfare of the animals to try to promote the vaccination and minimise the incidence of parvovirus that we are seeing.”
Dr Nisbett said that the drive is hoped to attract the owners of all unvaccinated dogs – even those that are illegal or unlicensed.
He said most of the dogs diagnosed with the parvovirus in Bermuda had been unlicensed pitbulls, likely because of hesitancy by the owners to bring unlicensed dogs to the veterinarian.
Dr Nisbett added: “The legality of the dog is not questioned at all in these clinics. The primary focus is to get the widespread vaccine protection out there, so we don’t want the legality to be a barrier to the animals being protected.
“Illegal dogs require good protection, welfare and treatment, just like legal dogs. We are not asking any questions.
“Hopefully we can make a dent, but at least we have provided an opportunity.
He said the drive has been supported by the Government along with the island’s vets, with the clinics being bolstered with volunteers from the Bermuda SPCA and the island’s dog clubs.
The vaccine at the clinics cost $25, and to be fully effective, two shots need to be delivered four weeks apart.
Dr Nisbett added that further clinics are being planned, including a September 19 clinic at Bulls Head Car Park and a clinic in the East End, although the date and location of the East End clinic has yet to be confirmed.
“We are trying to solidify an area in the East End,” he said. “We have some prospects, but nothing has been finalised yet.”