Nearly half of pets unvaccinated


greencrossFigures from Greencross Vet clinics across Australia show 44 per cent of domestic pets brought in for a check-up were at risk of life-­threatening diseases because their vaccinations were out of date.

Greencross Vets Stud Park director Dr Prue Stanley said it was an alarming trend that could hurt pet owners’ beloved animals, as well as their hip pockets.

The clinic vaccinates dogs, cats, rabbits and the occasional ferret for diseases including parvovirus, canine cough, cat flu and feline­ leukaemia. But Dr Stanley said many pet owners did not ­realise they had to bring their beloved pooch or moggy in for an annual booster to stay protected. “Their animal is only well because everyone around them is vaccinated, keeping the disease out of their immediate­ area,” Dr Stanley said.

Treatment costs for ­parvovirus, which is ­common in dogs, could run into the thousands because it involved 7-14 days in hospital and blood transfusions. Pets could easily share diseases – which could be prevented or eased with a vaccination – some of which could survive outside the body for several hours, Dr Stanley said.


  1. This article does not reflect the current industry recommendations put out by the AVA which state that animals only need vaccinations every 3 years. There is no mention of antibody titre testing. Most of these “unvaccinated” animals will actually have immunity remaining strong from previous vaccinations, which is what we regularly find at our clinic, Animal Wellness, when we perform titre tests. It can be harmful to overvaccinate pets. Poor reporting (press release designed to drum up business, perhaps?)

  2. “Their animal is only well because everyone around them is vaccinated, keeping the disease out of their immediate­ area”,
    is probably NOT the reason why they did not succumb. It is more probable the reason is that they have maintained cell mediated immunity from previous vaccination as the duration of immunity for vaccination is well beyond 1 year. Research by veterinary immunologist Dr Ron Shultz has shown extended duration of immunity in the vicinity of at least ten years possibly a lifetime for adult animals that have had at least one vaccination. Please see the pubmed link :

    Vaccination is important for all animals especially kittens and puppies. We vaccinate and then routinely titre test to ensure they have not just been vaccinated but have been immunised (ie responded). For adults, we routinely titre test instead of vaccination and where there is any antibody titre, there is cell mediated immunity. We have not had one single adult animal that has required re- vaccination. This would also account for why there hasnt been an outbreak in your area despite the “low rate of vaccination”. If you checked your records you might find that the 44% have had at least one vaccination as an adult which is good news and you can breath a sigh of relief as they are not all at risk.

    Annual boosters are a practice that is not supported by the Australian Veterinary Association policy or the World Small Animal Veterinary Association guidelines on this practice.

  3. This appears to be nothing more than fear mongering to drum up business to me.

    There’s research by Shultz showing how long vaccinations last for, yet I’m yet to see any research that vaccinations are required yearly.

    Too many vets hiding behind their coats in their position of authority and trust, yet couldn’t provide a single study to back up their claim of vaccinating yearly.

    Fear mongering cash grab, nothing more.


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