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benny123

Vets Warn Of Spike In Deadly Dog Virus

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benny123   

Spike in Parvo Virus cases

IT IS not only humans who are feeling sick in Sydney this winter - our four-legged friends are suffering, too.

In the past two months the Australian Veterinary Association has received about 100 reports of the highly contagious and potentially fatal dog disease parvovirus, an unusually high number for winter.

Half of the cases came from Sydney, with numbers highest in the greater-western and south-western suburbs. High numbers were also reported in Newcastle, Bathurst and Cowra.

"Usually we only see large numbers of dogs and puppies with parvovirus during the summer months," said Graham Swinney, from the Australian Veterinary Association.

"Every single puppy or kitten in Australia needs to be vaccinated against deadly diseases. This is much less expensive than treating your pet after it gets sick and saves the heartache of losing a new family member too soon,'' Mr Swinney said.

The virus is spread when dogs come into contact with the faeces of infected animals.

Magdoline Awad, the RSPCA's chief NSW veterinarian, said treatment for parvovirus could cost owners as much as $1000 because it involves antibiotics and IV fluids.

''Treatment is very intensive - the animals are basically in intensive care,'' she said.

''There is a high mortality for this disease.''

Dr Awad said the RSPCA's western Sydney clinic diagnosed up to three cases a day in April and has seen several smaller outbreaks since then.

Symptoms of the virus include vomiting, lack of hunger and bloody diarrhoea.

Gary Ashton, a vet at the Campbelltown Veterinary Hospital, said he had treated about 20 dogs for the disease in the past two months, more than usual for winter.

Some of these dogs were euthanased after their owners decided treatment was too expensive.

Dr Ashton said examples of parvovirus tended to be clustered in lower socio-economic areas where fewer dogs are vaccinated.

''Vets in the north shore, where a very high percentage of dogs are vaccinated, may never see the virus,'' he said.

Dr Ashton recommended puppies be vaccinated at six weeks, 12 weeks and again at 16 weeks.

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Yep, and Canberra pound currently, which is in two-week lockdown. With our weather extremes it's incredible that the virus can thrive in both sub-zero temperatures and relentless heat.

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k9angel   

I thought it was odd too when I read some of the pound threads to see cases of parvo virus in this weather. Usuallyit is more prevelant in the warmer months. Its a worry. I still think there is a new strain.

When we had all those cases in Summer and just after, I remember asking the vet whether it was possibly a new strain of the virus as some of the dogs diagnosed were infact vaccinated. He agreed and was thinking the same thing.

Poor doggies. I feel sad for those that get it. Its an awful virus, very very cruel...... :thumbsup:

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There were quite a few cases in Wodonga last month :) .

Its been a much wetter year this year and I'd heard that it was always worse after rain - I wonder if that is contributing?

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k9angel   

There is something about this on the channel 7 news tonight.

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In the country areas from about August through to spring it is usually about but it can pop up any time after it rains. I have seen it year round!

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stormie   

I wonder if people are being misinformed or misunderstanding the whole vaccine issue. I just read a topic about someone who has been told on Facebook how bad vaccinations are after mentioning her pup is due for its first booster following puppy vaccines - something which is still being recommended on the new protocol.

I wonder how many people hear this information about how 'bad' vaccines are and are just not vaccinating at all.

The other thing that is possibly interesting, is that the media releases regarding the 'outbreaks' are being given out by the Disease Watchdog program, which is run by a vaccine company that is VERY MUCH against anything other than annual vaccination.

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I wonder if people are being misinformed or misunderstanding the whole vaccine issue. I just read a topic about someone who has been told on Facebook how bad vaccinations are after mentioning her pup is due for its first booster following puppy vaccines - something which is still being recommended on the new protocol.

I wonder how many people hear this information about how 'bad' vaccines are and are just not vaccinating at all.

The other thing that is possibly interesting, is that the media releases regarding the 'outbreaks' are being given out by the Disease Watchdog program, which is run by a vaccine company that is VERY MUCH against anything other than annual vaccination.

The first round of parvo in town early in the New Year infected puppies that had not been vaccinated or had not had a second or third vacc, the latest round was pups and also included older dogs that had been vaccinated. I know of these first hand from the clinic, not from the media. Twice this year we have been vaccinating our pups or those due for a booster from the back of our car or at home.

I think there is a lot of misinformation from both sides flying about but YES you do need to vaccinate your dogs, as not vaccinating at all could be deadly.

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rexiam   

Benny123 Would you happen to know when that article was posted?

I live in one of the areas mentioned and lost my two 5 month old puppies last October due to Parvo.

It worries me that Parvo is out and about so much :laugh: After losing my 2 precious babies it makes me feel ill.

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Rappie   

We have a pound pup in hospital with parvo now.

We're in western Sydney and in April we were seeing a number of cases, which is very unusual for this area (last year we saw 3 or 4 cases in the year, this April was 6 or 7 per week). All the cases were either unvaccinated, or puppies who were only old enough to have had one vaccination, mostly owned by people who either didn't bother with vaccinations despite advice, or couldn't afford to do them.

Most of the people I see who have actually heard of the 3 year protcol follow the 'rules' quite strictly. Aside from the general population of DOL, I'm not sure that the message is really getting out that widely. I freely discuss vaccination and heartworm protocols with owners but find that very few of them are aware that there are new protocols at all.

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Lab lady   

Rappie,

from a vets point of view what do you think is the way to go regarding the frequency of vaccinations for adult dogs and cats. I have tried to engage my vet in discussion about it but she is against going any longer than the 12 months.

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Rappie   

I think reduced frequency of vaccination is a better option where there is evidence that protection is still conferred. It is hard for us as a profession in some cases as with some products, adopting a 3 year protocol involves off label use of the vaccination which, despite evidence of prolonged effects of vaccination still leaves us open should anything untoward happen. There is one pharmaceutical company that has explicitly advised me that they will never re-label any of their products for more than 12 month intervals - that can make it quite difficult.

Our practice has adopted a 3 yearly protocol using a 3 year duration of immunity C3 and annual kennel cough vaccination for dogs. We still maintain annual vaccination for cats as our recommendation for all situations we take into account the individual patient's needs and have recently changed our protocol to distinguish between indoor and outdoor cats in an effort to increase protection for at risk cats (FIV and FeLV vaccinations) but reduce the vaccinations for entirely indoor cats. We have had no issues introducing the new protocols. For those animals that have been diagnosed with immune mediated diseases, we cancel all vaccination reminders and schedule annual titre tests. For those test I've done, the results have been adequate which suggests that most animals are 'probably' ok but without testing everyone we just don't know.

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Lab lady   

:noidea: Rappie.

I did wonder after the discussion with my vet whether she had been instructed to advise on yearly vaccs. I will have to have mine done later this year so they will be able to be boarded so i will try and talk to her again.

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SoL   

It's nearly always rife around here but yes, it has been even worse lately - we don't take any chances. Our pups were vaccinated in the back of our car due to not wanting to take them into the surgery - the vet said that they had been inundated with parvo cases. Funny, in my experience it costs more than $1000 to treat and even then there's no guarantee of success :(

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Funny, in my experience it costs more than $1000 to treat and even then there's no guarantee of success :(

Depends how intensively you want to treat it, I think. It's always costly to treat parvo due to the nursing involved. But there are options that can increase or reduce cost somewhat - there are expensive or budget options for antibiotics, fluids & anti-vomiting meds; and you can add in expensive new treatments like interferon omega if you can get it & the owner is willing to pay.

Our small animal med lecturer reckons 90% of infected animals can survive, if you are given free reign with treatment. But even if the owner can only pay for a budget job, it's still worth giving it a shot.

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