Parvovirus and Leptospirosis local update

Since November 2023 when parvo cases were first reported in Canberra, STVH has been on alert for any pets presenting with signs of vomiting and diarrhoea (with blood) in unvaccinated animals, especially young animals or older animals whose vaccination is overdue. To help we have sent out many vaccination reminders, if you are in doubt, please phone. We have since heard of the other local vet hospitals having treated cases.
To keep our hospital free of the virus we routinely clean with disinfectant and if your animal has signs, we ask you to phone ahead and you will be triaged through the side entrance into our isolation area where a parvo test can be performed to avoid exposure of other animals in the hospital.
Treatment can be expensive with a long hospital stay, fluids and plasma transfusion, antiemetics and antibiotics. Unfortunately, the virus can weaken the immune system and cause irreversible damage to the gastrointestinal tract and some animals will die despite your vet’s best efforts.
To prevent your new pup from being exposed we recommend minimal exposure to areas frequented by other dogs such as outside their yard before the final vaccination at 16 weeks of age (as per The World Small Animal Veterinary Association WASAVA guidelines). A series of 3-4 puppy vaccinations is required depending on the first vaccination date. It is particularly important for an adult booster 12 months after the puppy course and once this is completed, we use a vaccination that lasts for 3 years recommended throughout your adult dog’s life.
An update on the Leptospirosis vaccination, we now have a limited supply to restart those dogs whose course was interrupted by the vaccine shortage or new dogs where the risk of exposure to rodents is high. Rodents are spreaders of this particular disease and it is also contagious to humans (a Zoonosis). With a confirmed case in the highlands and boarding kennels again requiring the vaccination, please contact us to discuss your dogs vaccinations as this disease can be deadly, with liver and kidney failure a consequence of the disease.
Other vaccinations such as canine infectious tracheobronchitis or canine cough immunity only last for 12 months. This is recommended if your dog is very social, attending dog parks , doggy daycare, regular grooming dates or mandatory kennels. This vaccination is usually incorporated with the other diseases discussed to make either a C5 or a C7 Protocol. While not a deadly disease, it is highly contagious and causes Whooping cough like symptoms which can be a problem with dogs with small airways (those under 10kgs).