Are you worried about communicable disease in our pet cats and dogs? If not, perhaps you should be. In the last month alone, two diseases thought not to exist in Australia have re-emerged—two outbreaks of canine distemper in regional NSW and a metropolitan outbreak of feline parvovirus in Melbourne. Thousands of cases of canine parvovirus, tick paralysis, cat flu, canine cough and other diseases occur every year in Australia leading to the deaths and discomfort of countless pets.
Disease WatchDog (www.diseasewatchdog.org) is Australia’s national disease surveillance system for pets. The project is an initiative of Virbac Animal Health and has been running for nearly four-and-a-half years. Over this time, five research papers have been published establishing risk factors for diseases and significant further research is ongoing.
The public can download a smart-phone-friendly app from the website and view maps of disease, information, and be referred to local vets. Disease outbreaks are monitored and the media notified to alert the public and raise awareness of disease —and the importance of proper prevention through vets. Vet clinics use the website in their puppy preschool classes, when talking to clients in consult, and can add maps into their clinic webpages and newsletters to raise awareness locally. All clinics who register receive a comprehensive support kit, and easy online instructions on how to participate in the program.
Find out more about this project, register your disease cases quickly and easily once a month, and help stop the spread of pet diseases at www.diseasewatchdog.org