Thursday, May 24, 2012

Deadly Parvovirus outbreak across Queensland prompts calls to vaccinate dogs

Dearly Parvovirus strikes Queensland dogs.

Hundreds of dogs have been infected with canine parvovirus during one of the worst outbreaks of the virus seen during recent years. 
Parvovirus is a deadly infectious disease of dogs which causes severe diarrhoea, vomiting, collapse and death.  The virus is highly transmissable as it is very difficult to destroy even with antiseptics and it is shed in large quantities in vomit and faeces, and tiny amounts are infectious to susceptable dogs.  Even a puppy smelling their owners shoe where they have stepped in faeces from an infected dog can easily result in infection.
Cairns had its own severe parvovirus outbreak early in 2012, with dozens of dogs becoming infected and many dying or being euthanased.  The virus affected numerous pets and also dogs as welfare shelters resulting in a lot of heartbreak for owners and workers at welfare agencies like the RSPCA.  There were also outbreaks of  Parvovirus in Queensland after the 2011 flooding/
Cairns has a fairly high risk of getting a parvovirus outbreak because we have high population influx at this time of year.  People travelling for work or leisure often bring their pets with them, and dogs carrying parvovirus may seem to be well until they suddently deteriorate.  By the time they are obviously very sick, a number of other dogs may be infected.  This can be a big problem if they are staying with friends with dogs, or at a Caravan park with other dogs or in a shelter environment.  Even dog parks can be risky, so its critical that dogs are fully vaccinated before being allowed to go places where other dogs have been.
Fortunately, there is a safe and highly effective vaccine for Parvovirus.  All pups should be vaccinated 2 or 3 times from 6-8 weeks of age and annually thereafter.  Routine dog vaccines normally include Parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis and kennel cough. In Cairns, outdoor dogs should also be vaccinated for Leptospirosis and sometimes tetanus depending on their location and lifestyle.
Your vet can give you accurate, reliable information about how to protect your pet from common but deadly diseases like parvovirus, leptospirosis, ticks, intestinal worms and heartworm.
Puppies should be kept inside and away from all unvaccinated dogs until 2 weeks after their parvovirus vaccination.  Puppies also need worm treatment every 2 weeks: pups with worms are at higher risk of contracting diseases like parvovirus because they

Read more about the last Parvovirus outbreak in Cairns at the Cairns Post

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fleas can cause serious human health problems

Fleas can be more that an annoyance they can cause serious disease in your family

Insects like fleas cause a wide variety of human health problems (remember the black death or bubonic plague which killed half the population of Europe in the 14th century?  This was caused by Yersinia Pestis, carried by fleas)

Recent studies have linked exposure to pets, fleas and flea-borne diseases such as the bacterial infection bartonella, which causes cat scratch fever.

Fleas linked to rheumatoid arthritis

Read article at onmedica

Fleas linked to rheumatoid arthritis Bartonella, a bacterium historically associated with cat scratch fever and transmitted predominately by fleas, may play a role in human rheumatoid illnesses such as arthritis, according to a report in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Researchers from North Carolina State University tested blood samples from 296 patients for evidence of Bartonella infection. The patients had previously been diagnosed with conditions ranging from Lyme disease to arthritis to chronic fatigue. Since rheumatic symptoms have sometimes been reported following cat scratch disease, the researchers wanted to see if these patients tested positive for Bartonella henselae. B. henselae cause cat scratch disease and is a species of Bartonella that can be carried in a cat’s blood for months to years.

How to have pets and avoid flea borne disease

Having pets is a great part of life, but keeping them free of parasites and other diseases is critical both for their health and the health of your whole family.

The good news is fleas are reasonably easy to control nowadays.  There are some new fast, easy and effective flea and tick treatments for cats and dogs which means you just don't need to put up with itchy pets and the health risks of parasites like fleas in your home.

Read more about how effective flea control can keep your family healthy at Cairns Pet News.

Cat Friendly Vet Trip Tips

How to train your cat to love its cat cage

Cats often hate travelling to the vet.  Lets face it, cats hate anything which interrupts them spending the day lying around, eating and generally living the good life.

This Video from the Catalyst Council has some tips to make trips to the vet less stressful.

Cairns Vet does recommend all cats come to the vet in a cat carrier/cage.  A cat that is carried into a vet clinic can panic when it sees, hears or smells other animals, wheras they feel safe and protected in a cat cage. 


This is made clear when we finish seeing a cat at a consult: clients always comment that the cat hides when they see the cage at home, but then they happily jump straight back into the cage when its time to go home: they know the cage is the "taxi" to get back to kitty heaven.

Read more Cairns Pet News and Cairns Vet Cat Tips