INFECTIOUS DISEASES – CANINE
“Our Commitment To Your Pet Lies In The Quality Of Our Care”
Puppies are very susceptible to infectious diseases such as canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, parvovirus, coronavirus, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and bordetellosis. Puppies receive antibodies from the mother, through the colostrum, which usually protects them from diseases for 6 to 8 weeks. Once the puppies lose their maternal antibody protection, they are at high risk of contracting diseases, if exposed to an infected animal. The duration of protection provided by maternal antibodies can vary from 3 to 20 weeks.
The initial vaccination series consists of one injection of a multivalent vaccine given at 6 weeks of age, followed by two booster vaccinations given at 9 and 12 weeks of age. Puppies whose immune status is uncertain may receive additional injections of multivalent vaccine as early as 2 weeks of age.
Once the vaccination series is completed annual boosters are recommended to maintain protective antibody level.
If your pet is not vaccinated these are some of the signs that you may note depending on the type of infection your pet has contracted.
- Incubation period 7-21 days.
- Mild or sub acute: rarely diagnosed, may present simply as transient period of depression, anorexia and mild pyrexia (<40oC). Recovery rapid; secondary bacterial infection rare. Some cases remain subclinical and unreported by owner.
- Acute: typical clinical signs associated with CDV infection. Within 7 days of exposure, dog becomes depressed, anorexic and pyrexic (<40oC) due to viremia. Within 48hours temperature may have returned to normal but in susceptible dogs rises again due to epithelial invasion, immunosuppression and secondary bacterial infection. Clinical signs include some or all of:
- persistent depression, anorexia, pyrexia.
- tonsillitis, pharyngitis with dry cough.
- conjunctivitis, rhinitis initially associated with serious discharge changing to mucopurulent discharge(secondary bacterial infection)
- exudative pneumonia associated with Bordetella bronchiseptica with tachypnoea and dyspnoea.
- vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, loss of body condition.
- hyperkeratosis of nose and foot pads(hard pad- food pads painful, thickened with irregular fissures and eventually exfoliate)
- mortality can be high but most dogs survive if treatment is provided quickly.
- if acute disease developed at less than six months old, may show changes to subsequent permanent dentition: damage to enamel and exposure of dentine(particularly canine teeth)- ‘distemper rings’.
- Nervous disease: approximately 50% with acute disease subsequently develop nervous signs, type and severity of which vary individually. Nervous signs occasionally observed without any previous acute disease. In all cases onset of nervous signs leads to grave prognosis but in some, signs are not detected until years after acute infection, when ODE develops in old age due to latent CDV infection in nervous tissue.
- Incubation period- 5- 9 days
- sudden death , more common in neonatal puppies- most die without even showing any clinical signs, other very short period of anorexia, depression, pyrexia(> 40oC), collapse and shock before death. Occasionally haemorrhagic diarrhoea, abdominal pain and crying prior to death.
- Acute ICH is most common form- sudden onset of depression, anorexia, pyrexia and shock. Pallor of the mucous membranes followed by jaundice as disease progresses. Tonsillitis, generalised lymphadenopathy, abdominal pain, haemorrhagic diarrhoea and hepatomegaly are common. Most dogs reluctant to move and may appear tucked up and occasionally assume praying position due to abdominal pain and crying prior to death.
- Sub-acute form- signs may include depression, anorexia, mild pyrexia; occasionally transient corneal oedema.
- blue eye
- interstitial and glomerular nephritis
- nervous signs
- Kennel Cough (Respiratory)
- Incubation period 5-7days following inhalation of micro organisms.
- Hallmark is dry non-productive cough; coughing often induced by excitement, change of environmental temperature or exercise; paroxysms of coughing frequent, may induce retching and occasionally vomiting. Owners often believe ‘something stuck in the dog’s throat’. Initially serous nasal discharge but may become mucopurulent if significant secondary bacterial infection establishes.
- Dogs usually remain bright and retain appetite.
- Lower respiratory disease rare.
- Recovery usually uneventful, within 14 day, but a few may be refractory to treatment and infection may persist for months.
- Clinical signs observed in leptospirosis vary. In general the clinical picture with each type may be described as follows.
- L. icterohaemorrhagiae
- Peracute: sudden death in young puppies without any previous signs of ill health.
- Acute: sudden onset of pyrexia, anorexia, marked depression and jaundice, followed by vomiting, polydipsia, haemorrhagic diarrhoea and petechial haemorrhages on mucous membranes. More generalised bleeding including epistaxis in individual cases. Dehydration, shock and collapse follow rapidly, and can result in death within a few hours even if treated early.
- L. canicola
- Acute: sudden onset of pyrexia, depression, polydipsia, followed by vomiting, oliguria, dehydration together with swelling and pain involving kidneys. Rapidly become azotemic, develop halitosis and eventually oral ulceration. In a few cases hepatic involvement results in jaundice.
- Sub acute: vague illness associated with anorexia, lethargy and pyrexia lasting only a few days; rarely diagnosed.
- Depend on age of the dog, and body system targeted by virus. Sudden deaths or puppies showing signs of heart failure.
- Myocarditis- now rarely seen due to presence of adequate levels of maternal antibody. Sudden deaths or puppies showing signs of heart failure.
- Gastroenteritis- depression, anorexia and persistent vomiting; initially vomitus contains food but eventually only bile stained or bloody fluid. Within 24 hours profuse liquid diarrhoea, red/brown in colour, foul smelling; marked dehydration, shock and subnormal temperature. If left untreated death occurs within a short period.
As you can appreciate the problems are many and will need to be identified. It is therefore recommended that your pet is seen by us at the earliest, to prevent the problem progressing and causing other complications. Early recognition and treatment means that your pet will recover sooner, and will therefore be far more comfortable. It is not only significantly more difficult to treat a pet in an advanced stage of the disease, as well as far more expensive, but one also has to take into account the significant pain and stress your pet is under by not being treated at the earliest.
We sincerely recommend that you please call us on 1300-838-738 (1300-VET-PET) to schedule an appointment at the earliest. We do not believe in berating our clients for presenting the pets late, as we believe that this is counter productive. It is not our intention to cause you any embarrassment, offence or anxiety. Our approach is now that you have presented your pet to us, how do we go forward from here, not only keeping your pet’s welfare at heart, but also working with your wishes and limiting factors. We do approach all cases presented to us with a level of sensitivity. As pet health care professionals we will present our assessment and treatment in a professional manner and factually as possible.
You may not be aware that in older pets multiple problems often arise as aging affects all body systems. As pets age they become increasingly vulnerable to diseases. The three leading causes of non accidental death in pets are cancer, kidney disease and heart disease. Older animals seldom suffer from a single disease. One problem may markedly influence the course of another. Ageing is characterised by progressive and irreversible change. Pets are likely to start having diseases associated with ageing between 7 and 13 years. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than large dogs. The quality and length of life of older pets can be improved through regular health checks (every 6 months). A thorough clinical examination will help define some of these problems.
Because we do care for the welfare and interest of your pet, we do go out of way to ensure that your pet can access medical or surgical attention in time of its need. It would also interest you to know that:-
- We do pride ourselves in the quality of our services.
- We do provide a 24 hour on call service.
- We also offer payment plans through a third party, provided you meet the criteria as set out by the financing institute.
- If you cannot bring your pet to us, we will come to you as we do have a fully equipped pet ambulance.
- We also do house calls.
- Your pet will receive a very high level of care given the level of diagnostic and monitoring equipment that we have on hand.
- We do welcome you to take a personal tour of our facility.
- We also provide pet grooming services
- We also provide puppy classes. Puppies are trained not only indoors, but also outdoors, being exposed to outdoor noises and traffic in a controlled environment. The puppy training classes are run by Ms Julie Pocknee.
- We do care for our wildlife, and work very closely with wildlife carers providing veterinary care where needed.
- We take an active part in community services and proudly support Service Dog Training, by way of providing veterinary services to working dogs of individuals with disabilities. Please see www.servicedogtraining.com.au
If you have not used our services before, we do suggest that you try our services and see the differences for yourself. From our analysis we find that over 30% of all new patients are referred to us by existing clients, and a further 25% of all new patients are brought in by existing clients. Our clients travel from as far as Camberwell, Clayton, Fitzroy, Ringwood, Chelsea, St Kilda, Port Melbourne, Pakenham, to name but a few. From the level of service we provide, you would come to understand that we are not your average Veterinary Services provider. We do recommend that you bookmark our web address www.petcarevet.com.au
Our staff are very friendly and courteous. We are very easily accessible. We are located at 234 Power Road, Endeavour Hills, at the intersection of Power Road and Heatherton Road, Endeavour Hills, just off the Monash Freeway. Please note that parking is at the rear.