Canine parvovirus prevention and prevalence : Veterinarian perceptions and behaviors

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number104817
Journal / PublicationPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Online published5 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


Canine Parvovirus (CPV) causes severe morbidity and mortality in dogs, particularly puppies, worldwide. Although vaccination is highly efficacious in preventing disease, cases continue to occur and vaccination failures are well documented. Maternally derived antibody interference is the leading cause of vaccination failure and age at vaccine administration is a significant risk factor for failure. However, no studies have been performed on practicing veterinarians’ usage of and compliance with published vaccination guidelines and label recommendations. Likewise, there are no published studies of veterinarian perceptions on CPV occurrence and mortality and its influence on case outcome. We report a study in which all Australian small companion animal (canine and feline) veterinary hospitals were surveyed, yielding a response rate of 23.5% (534 unique veterinary hospitals). Respondents overall perceived national CPV occurrence ten-times lower (median 2000 cases) than the estimated national caseload (20,000 cases). Respondents from hospitals that did not diagnose CPV perceived national occurrence twenty-times lower (median 1000 cases) than the estimated rate (p < 0.0001). Perceived disease mortality (50%) was 2.74 times higher than that reported (18.2%). In addition, 26.7% of veterinarians reported using serological titer testing to some degree, which some practitioners use in lieu of vaccination if a titer is perceived to reflect sufficient immunity. Based on this study veterinarians appear to be aware of the disease risk in their region but unaware of the burden of CPV disease nationally, and perceive mortality risk higher than it actually is. This might lead to an overestimation of cost to treat, and over-recommendation of euthanasia. Nearly half (48.7%) of respondents recommended final puppy vaccination earlier than guidelines recommend, while 2.8% of respondents recommended a puppy re-vaccination interval longer than supported by vaccine labels and guidelines. Both of these practices may put puppies at risk of CPV infection.

Research Area(s)

  • Canine parvovirus, CPV, Prevention, Titer testing, Vaccination protocols, Veterinarian perceptions

Citation Format(s)

Canine parvovirus prevention and prevalence: Veterinarian perceptions and behaviors. / Kelman, M.; Barrs, V.R.; Norris, J.M. et al.
In: Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 174, 104817, 01.2020.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review