WA Veterinary Emergency & Specialty (WAVES)


Give the gift of vaccination to the fur child you love this Christmas

PLEASE, WE ARE BEGGING YOU. Give the gift of vaccination to the fur child you love this Christmas. PLEASE DONT MAKE US EUTHANASE ANOTHER PUPPY, or 1 year old or 3 year old or 10 year old pet for a vaccine preventable disease!

Check your dog’s vaccination certificate to make sure their protection is up to date, and if you have any doubt about whether your dog is fully vaccinated, speak to your regular vets about giving your dog the gift of vaccination. If you obtained your dog from someone else and you don’t have a vaccination certificate from a veterinary hospital which tells you when the next vaccine is due then please assume they may not be fully protected and make their Christmas present the lifesaving gift of vaccination.

Despite the easy access to vaccinations, which effectively make >99% of dogs immune to parvovirus we continue to occasionally see this terrible disease and many puppies around Perth end up being euthanased when they catch this disease due to the significant costs and time required for treatment. Young puppies who haven’t completed their vaccination course are at greatest risk and occasionally adult dogs are also affected. Parvovirus treatment is significantly more expensive than preventative vaccinations!

Without any treatment, up to 91% of dogs can die from parvovirus, particularly puppies. Intensive care can raise the prognosis for survival from 60% with basic hospital care to >90% with intensive round the clock care, however, the cost of this level of care is extremely expensive when compared to the cost of vaccination.

Even if your dog never leaves your property, this long lived virus can be brought into your home environment on your shoes or car tyres, so even dogs who never leave your home are still at risk if they are not vaccinated!

Canine parvovirus attacks the lining of the gut and also the bone marrow (which produces white blood cells). The clinical signs can vary, however they generally include vomiting and diarrhoea. The diarrhoea may have a distinct foul smell (of dying gut), and may contain a lot of mucus – blood may or may not be present in the diarrhoea but parvovirus is always considered a possible cause of bloody diarrhoea in dogs. Generally, infected dogs lose their appetite and are very depressed. Younger dogs are most severely affected, however dogs of any age can contract parvovirus and die from it. In survivors parvovirus can be persistently shed for 5-21 days after infection which means that patients who have recovered from parvovirus should not be walked in public for several weeks.

Canine parvovirus is an easily preventable disease that is again becoming more common in some areas of the community. If you are unsure or concerned about your pets vaccination status, please contact your local veterinarian to discuss this. All veterinarians would love to see parvovirus eradicated but being realists we hope to never have to treat your dog for parvovirus or worse still have to euthanase it because you can’t afford to treatment.

If every dog owner was responsible and vaccinated their dogs the herd health would be high enough to protect the rare dogs who can’t be vaccinated because of medical conditions, the extremely rare dogs who fail to get immunity from vaccination and the gorgeous little puppies who are too young to be fully protected by vaccination.

Please help get this message out. We declare no conflicts of interest in this post. WAVES does not vaccinate dogs (being a referral hospital most of our patients are too sick or injured to be vaccinated while being treated by us). Therefore we recommend that you speak to your local veterinarians, all of whom do vaccinate, about vaccination frequency, costs etc. We cannot provide for you the exact cost of vaccination, but we can reassure you that the cost of a vaccine is less than cost of euthanasia to relieve suffering and is a tiny % of the cost of treating parvovirus with the level of intensive care provided in our hospital. If every dog in Perth was vaccinated then the isolation ward at WAVES would remain empty and we would obtain no income from treating parvovirus cases. This would make our vets and nurses ecstatic!