Deadly virus hits QLD and NSW dogs 

Veterinarians are warning dog and puppy owners to make sure their pets are up to date with their vaccinations as a new wave of parvovirus circulates in some areas of Queensland and New South Wales. 

Dr Tess Guilfoyle, incoming president of the Queensland Division of the Australian Veterinary Association said there had been a significant increase in dogs and puppies with canine parvovirus being presented to veterinary practices. 

“Young puppies and dogs that have never been vaccinated are particularly susceptible to the effects of this virus. Even some adult dogs may need a booster if the virus has not challenged their immune system in recent years.” 

There have been 167 cases of canine parvovirus recorded on Disease Watchdog, Australia’s national companion animal disease surveillance system. Close to 100 cases have been reported in Queensland and NSW alone in the last six weeks. 

“This disease has been generally thought to be a seasonal spring and summer disease, however in recent years cases have been recorded well into autumn and it appears the trend is continuing this year,” Dr Guilfoyle said. 

Areas where there appears to be a higher disease risk at present include Mackay, Cairns, Rockhampton and Capalaba in Queensland and Walgett, Campbelltown, Broken Hill, Newcastle, Griffith and Narrabri in New South Wales. 

Dr Guilfoyle said that the virus can be especially severe in puppies with death in around 80 per cent of untreated cases. 

“Common signs of canine parvovirus are severe vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. If your pet has any of these symptoms you should see your local vet straight away,” she said. 

For further information about the most suitable vaccination program for your dog contact your local veterinarian. 

Information about parvovirus outbreaks came from the Disease Watchdog, an onlinedatabase of companion animal diseases hosted by Virbac Animal Health. More information can be found at: www.diseasewatchdog.org.