Vets say act now to get puppies vaccinated

02 Oct 2018

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is asking owners to make sure their dogs are up-to-date with their vaccinations with a high risk of exposure to parvovirus at this time of year.

AVA President, Dr Paula Parker said that many pets’ lives are unnecessarily put at risk because they haven’t had the vaccinations they need to protect them from parvovirus.

“Parvo virus attacks rapidly dividing cells, particularly the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow, where vital immune cells are produced. This devastating combination is highly fatal, particularly amongst puppies and young dogs who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated” she said.

Commonly known as parvo, the disease is not new to Australia. Sadly, with variable vaccination rates, outbreaks of this highly contagious virus continue to occur around the nation with hot spots located in several states.

According to a survey conducted by the University of Sydney, the top hotspots include Inverell (NSW), Broome (WA), Wagga Wagga (NSW), Kalgoorlie (WA), Tamworth (NSW), Midland (WA), Mount Isa (QLD), Dubbo (NSW), Mackay (QLD) and North Darwin (NT). However, the risk of parvovirus extends to all states and territories and our members are reporting a spike in cases in recent weeks.

“Canine parvo is a disease that we have excellent vaccines for. This is not a disease that we need to see any more.

“All puppies require a series of vaccinations against parvovirus and other canine diseases. If you are unsure of your pet’s vaccination status or schedule, you should contact your veterinarian today. With knowledge of the local conditions, your local veterinarian can advise on the best protection for your pet.” Dr Parker said.

“If your dog shows signs of lethargy, vomiting or diarrhoea, it’s important for your dog to receive veterinary attention immediately. Early treatment is essential in improving the chance of survival" Dr Parker said.

For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health, and welfare.