Vaccinating your pets – Why you must read this story

Vaccinating your pets – Why you must read this story

If you think that vaccinating your pets isn’t a priority then keep reading…

It was supposed to be a lovely long weekend away with friends on the northern coast of NSW.

Only a six hour drive from Sydney we were due to arrive at Coffs Harbour around 3.30 that afternoon. On the approach we rang our friends to let them know we would be arriving soon. That’s when we discovered that the family dog wasn’t feeling too good. There had been a recent poisoning of the neighbours dog and they suspected the same thing had happened again.

Coffs harbour


My sister is a vet and the owner of the Ringwood Veterinary Clinic in Melbourne.  I asked them if they would like me to phone her and describe the dogs symptoms just to see if we could get an idea of what we were dealing with.


The Dog…

Name – Tikka

Age – 15 months

Breed – Doberman cross

Weight – Approx. 25kg

tikka and kerby

Tikka on left, two days prior to her illness


The Symptoms…

Continuous vomiting from the night before

Vomiting only occurring when she moved, otherwise she just slept

Vomit was mostly clear however the most recent one had blood in it

At midday was wagging her tail and had a drink of water

Suspected poisoning with glass bait


The conversation…

After speaking with my sister I realised there was one very important question I’d forgotten to ask the owner.



…& the verdict.

The symptoms you are describing sound like parvovirus.  That dog is dying and needs urgent medical attention!

This statement certainly got our attention and we began a series of phone calls to the local vets in Coffs Harbour.  As it happened there had been 11 diagnosed cases of parvovirus in the past three weeks.


What is parvovirus?

Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can live in the environment for up to 10 years. It attacks the gastrointestinal tract and is transferable through dogs. Your dog will suffer immensely even with treatment, showing signs of blood in vomiting and diarrhoea.

If you take your dog out for a walk and it eats grass that is contaminated by parvo then your dog will start to show signs of the virus within 7-10 days.

Puppies are highly susceptible to this virus and if left untreated will most likely die, mainly of dehydration within 1-2 days.

All of this can be avoided by vaccinating your pets.


At the local vet clinic we were advised that

  • the dog must not enter the premises.
  • We must not enter the premises.
  • Our clothing has been contaminated.
  • We need to disinfect all items that have been in contact with the dog and its environment.


 Unfortunately the swab test at the local vet confirmed that Tikka did indeed have parvovirus.

The owners of Tikka faced a difficult decision. As she was a puppy, even with treatment she only had a 40% chance of survival and she would be in extreme pain. In this particular situation Tikka’s owners chose to have her euthanased.


Vaccinating your pets is a simple procedure that takes up no more time than a standard consultation. Call us to make an appointment today.



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