Socioeconomic, geographic and climatic risk factors for canine parvovirus infection and euthanasia in Australia

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Original languageEnglish
Article number104816
Journal / PublicationPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Online published10 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


Infection of canids with canine parvovirus (CPV) can result in severe, often fatal disease. This study aimed to examine climatic, socioeconomic and geographic risk factors for CPV infection and CPV-associated euthanasia in Australia. Australian veterinary hospital responses (534; 23.5 %) to a national veterinary survey of CPV case occurrences and euthanasias in 2016 were used. Severe caseloads (> 40 cases per annum) were reported by 26 (11 %) hospitals (median 60 cases; IQR 50–110). Case reporting, case numbers, and without-treatment euthanasia were significantly associated with disadvantage across all Socio-Economic Index for Areas quintiles (p < 0.0001) – the greater the disadvantage, the more reports. Strong negative correlations were found between case numbers and the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage (rSP = –0.3357, p < 0.0001) and also between euthanasia and the Index of Education and Occupation (rSP = –0.3762, p < 0.0001). Hospitals in more remote areas were also more likely to report cases and to euthanize without treatment (p < 0.0001). Of the climate variables, temperature of the hottest month was most strongly positively correlated with case numbers (rSP = 0.421, p < 0.0001), and lower annual rainfall was associated with more case-reporting hospitals (p < 0.0001). These results confirm that socioeconomic disadvantage is a significant risk-factor for CPV infection and outcome, and high temperature may also contribute to risk.

Research Area(s)

  • Canine parvovirus, Climate, Remoteness, Socioeconomics