Dog Vaccination Drive Against Canine Parvovirus

Local veterinarians have recognized a spike in cases of canine parvovirus occurring on the Island in recent months. Collectively, veterinarians have seen approximately 60 cases of sick puppies and dogs, a significant rise from the seventeen cases reported one month ago.

Affected animals are primarily young, unvaccinated puppies and adolescent dogs; some adult dogs have also been affected. However, while all breeds are vulnerable, over 90% of the affected animals have been unvaccinated pitbulls and pitbull crosses.

In response, the Bermuda Veterinary Association, with the support of the Ministry of Home Affairs, has elected to offer low-cost vaccination clinics to the public, targeting all unvaccinated dogs and puppies. The first of these clinics will be held on Sunday, August 22, at the Bull’s Head parking garage, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. A follow-up clinic for the needed booster vaccination will occur at the same location on September 19.

The Bermuda Veterinary Association will be holding additional clinics in both the east and west ends between those dates. The Public will be advised of the exact dates and locations.

The purpose of these vaccination clinics is to vaccinate as many dogs and puppies as we can to stem the current parvovirus outbreak. The clinics will be arranged as drive-through clinics. Following registration, a very cursory examination will occur to ensure that your animal is fit to be vaccinated. Following this, your animal will be vaccinated, and you’ll be on your way. The cost will be $25.

It is essential to understand that the vaccine is for prevention only, and no vaccine is 100?fective. Over many years, this vaccine has proven its efficiency and low risk of side effects for dogs. However, it is not a treatment for unwell dogs.

Any dog experiencing vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, or pregnant dogs, should not be brought to the vaccine clinics. Dog owners should instead seek guidance from a veterinary professional of their choice. Please also note that there will be no opportunity to discuss other veterinary matters that may concern you, i.e. flea control, deworming, nutrition, behavioural issues, etc. For these issues, it is advisable to seek a veterinary professional.

These vaccination clinics are being made possible through the efforts of numerous veterinarians and veterinary assistants from each veterinary practice and countless people from the SPCA and the Island’s various dog clubs. All of them will volunteer their time and energy to create these opportunities. The Ministry of Home Affairs extends a huge ‘Thank You’ to all involved.

The Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon Walter Roban JP, MP, said, “We recognize that many of the dogs in need of vaccination are illegal and unlicensed, and the owners may feel reluctant to present their animals for fear of being found out. And so, it is crucial to be clear on the purpose of these vaccination clinics. The clinics’ focus is to vaccinate all unvaccinated dogs to stop the spread of the virus and put an end to this outbreak.”

“To achieve this, we encourage all owners of unvaccinated dogs, whether legal, illegal, licensed or unlicensed, to take advantage of this opportunity. Animal Wardens will not be present at the clinics, and we will not question you on the legality of your animals.”

“I sincerely thank those involved in holding these clinics and urge everyone to have their unvaccinated dogs vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Contact Animal Control at 239-2327 or with any questions.
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