Parvo warning for Rockhampton as deadly outbreak hits
Nine-month old Patricia is undergoing Parvo treatment right now at Torenbeek Veterinary Clinic in Rockhampton
A Queensland veterinarian is calling on Rockhampton residents to urgently vaccinate their puppies and dogs, with the town experiencing a spike in Parvovirus (Parvo) cases since February – leaving 13 puppies and dogs dead.
Twenty four puppies and dogs have been struck down by the horrific disease, with Torenbeek Veterinary Clinic seeing 16 cases in the past three weeks – including older dogs – leading to 11 deaths. Alma Street Veterinary Clinic is treating five other puppies in hospital, while four rescue puppies have also been infected, two fatally.
Paws For A Purpose (PFAP) Founder and veterinarian Dr Mark Kelman said these latest deaths were preventable and more deaths can be stopped if residents act quickly.
PFAP managed to identify the outbreak, as the national charity is working with Rockhampton Regional Council to offer eligible residents heavily discounted Parvo vaccinations at Alma Street Veterinary Hospital and Torenbeek Veterinary Clinic.
Vouchers are now available from Rockhampton Regional Council, for local residents with Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards, Pension Concession Cards, Health Care Cards, or those on a Newstart allowance.
“It is so important we do whatever we can to protect our dogs. The standard cost for these vaccinations is around $100, but now people who need a little extra assistance can get these for as little as $15,” said Dr Kelman.
“The late seasonal rain seems to have brought on this outbreak and any dogs and puppies that are not fully vaccinated are at risk. Scientific studies have shown an association between recent rain and Parvo outbreaks, however, we are not exactly sure why – one theory is that the rain might physically move the virus into contact with domestic dogs.
“With increasing numbers of puppies being infected right now with the virus, it shows that these pets have not been fully vaccinated. The highest risk is for puppies that have not had their 16 week vaccination, or are younger than 16 weeks and haven’t been vaccinated in the past month.”
To prevent infection, all puppies must be vaccinated monthly from six weeks of age, until 16 weeks. Adult dogs in high-risk Parvo areas and during outbreaks should be re-vaccinated every year.
To apply for the Parvo vaccination vouchers, visit any of the Rockhampton Regional Council’s Customer Service Centres, contact Customer Service on (07) 4932 9000 or email email@example.com,au
To find out more about Paws For a Purpose, log onto www.pawsforapurpose.org.
PFAP media contact:
Dr Mark Kelman
+61 417 906 771
‘Pawesome’ chip and vac vouchers
An innovative voucher program for dog microchipping and vaccinations has launched this week thanks to a partnership between Rockhampton Regional Council, Queensland-headquartered national charity Paws For A Purpose (PFAP), and two local vets.
The program will offer eligible residents of the Rockhampton Region heavily discounted vaccinations and microchipping at participating vets.
Councillor Ellen Smith, Chair of Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee, said that these vouchers will make a big difference to a number of people in our community.
“These vaccinations normally cost up to and over $100 each, and dogs require three vaccinations in their first 16 weeks, and a booster every year after that,” said Cr Smith.
“Microchipping is an additional expense again, so the costs can add up very quickly.
“If money is tight, or an expense comes up that people haven’t planned for, vaccinations and microchipping can become a lower priority, and can even slip people’s minds altogether.
“We know, however, that vaccinating is essential for the wellbeing of all dogs in our community, and these vouchers will go a long way in removing a major barrier.
“I really want to thank PFAP for coming to us with this great solution, and local vet clinics Alma Street Veterinary Hospital and Torenbeek Veterinary Clinic for getting on board.”
PFAP Founder and veterinarian Dr Mark Kelman said he believes this program will go a long way in keeping dogs in the Rockhampton Region healthy.
“We’re offering these vouchers for the first time in Australia right here in Rocky, where we aim to vaccinate as many puppies as possible to lessen the Parvo outbreaks we see each year from October to February,” said Dr Kelman.
“In a nation of dog-lovers, so many of us haven’t even heard of Parvo or know just how widespread it is. Parvo strikes 20,000 puppies and dogs every year in Australia – 90 per cent of which are puppies and half of which die.
“We’re all working together under our new Combating Parvovirus Program to make sure those who are doing it tough can still get their puppies and dogs the protection they need from this disease.
“We couldn’t have done this without these amazing veterinary practices, a generous Rockhampton Regional Council subsidy and of course it’s all possible due to the donations we receive and the sale of our very own Paws for A Purpose Premium Beef Treats.”
To apply for the chip and vac vouchers come into any of Council’s Customer Service Centres. If you have any questions, contact Customer Service on 07 4932 9000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about Paws For a Purpose head over to www.pawsforapurpose.org
PFAP media contact:
Dr Mark Kelman
+61 417 906 771
National fight to combat killer puppy virus starts on Sunshine Coast
Dr Mark Kelman with puppy, Harry, on a quest to stamp out Parvo disease
A local puppy owner is urging dog-lovers to attend this month’s launch of a new national charity, Paws for a Purpose – headquartered on the Sunshine Coast – to stamp out the killer ‘Parvo’ disease.
Paws For A Purpose is founded by Sunshine Coast veterinarian, Dr Mark Kelman, with a focus on ‘helping pets and people in need’.
“Pets are a vital part of people’s lives and our charity’s goal is to help address the issues keeping people and pets apart – particularly for those doing it tough.
“One of our first projects is all about putting an end to Parvo disease – a devastating virus that can kill puppies in as little as 24 hours – that is especially bad in more regional and socially disadvantaged areas.
“As a veterinarian for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen the most tragic cases come through the door, with puppies suffering from diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting and septicaemia - and some dying within 24 hours. Research has found that 20,000+ Parvo cases occur annually in Australia with 10,000 deaths, many due to euthanasia as a result of the disease.
“We think that a lack of vaccination in these areas plays a significant role in cases, and that affordability and other social reasons are major contributors to the thousands of puppies dying across Australia every year from Parvo.”
“This is a major issue for all Australian pet owners, as there is evidence that Parvo is spread from these high-risk regions to the other areas. If we can stop Parvo in the high-risk areas, we can then dramatically reduce the risk of outbreaks in other areas too.
“That’s why the team is embarking upon communication-and-vaccination strategies in areas of social disadvantage where the disease is endemic,” explains Dr Kelman.
Using technology, communication, innovation and love, the group is working on changing the world for pets and people, for the better.
The launch for the charity will be held the Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club on 28 June at 6.30pm till 9.30pm and all are welcome.
The launch will be a celebration of the group’s achievements to date and include drinks, canapes, live music, and a joint talk from founder Dr Kelman and a ‘Parvo’ survivor puppy Arnold and his owner, Brodie – who will tell their heart-breaking story of having a puppy arrive home with Parvo. The charity are also launching a range of 100% Australian-beef dog treats, free of preservatives and additives with all money raised going to the cause. Everyone attending the launch gets treats to take home.
“We thank the Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club, Ace Grooming Salon, Coca-Cola Amatil and entertainment duo Alexis Sawford and Suzie Keenan for their generous support in making our launch happen.” says Dr Kelman.
Arnold’s owner Brodie agrees and urges everyone to attend the event.
“We only found out Arnold had Parvo after he’d been home with us for a few days,” said Brodie.
“It was horrific seeing our young, gorgeous puppy go through it, so I think it’s incredible we have a local charity that is trying to fight this disease one step at a time.
“I think everyone should do their bit and get down to the launch event and try out their new dog treats, as it’s all for a good cause.”
Tickets are available for a donation of $10 from www.trybooking.com/WCDT
Additional photographs and interviews available. Media contact:
Dr Mark Kelman BSc BVMS, Founder, Paws for A Purpose M: 0417 906 771
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Paws for A Purpose is a social enterprise charity selling Premium Beef Treats to raise money and awareness of their work to help pets and people in need. The treats are healthy with no preservatives or additives and 100% beef and are very popular with dogs. The number of resellers is growing rapidly and details are available on the charity’s website. www.pawsforapurpose.org