Hendra Virus and Vaccination in Horses

Equivac HeV

Hendra Virus Vaccine Released

As you may have heard, a vaccine for the deadly Hendra virus was released in November 20121. Since 1994 this virus has killed over 80 horses together with the devastating consequences of four human deaths associated with the equine cases.

The vaccine is a great breakthrough in the fight against Hendra. Studies in vaccinated horses challenged with virus have shown that no clinical signs occurred, and neither virus nor evidence of virus replication in any tissue was found in the treated horses.

Outbreaks of Hendra virus to date have occurred from Cairns in North Queensland through to Macksville in Northern New South Wales and as far west as Chinchilla, however the risk of Hendra virus occurs across much of Australia.

Hendra virus is transmitted from bats to horses, and bats carrying Hendra virus have been identified in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory and most recently South Australia.

There is also the risk of horse to horse transmission, and with horses travelling interstate being so common, there is a risk of an infected horse travelling into an area that has never seen a case of Hendra virus before and shedding virus before it shows any symptoms of sickness.

Vaccination is the most effective way to safeguard yourself, your family and your horse against Hendra. Vaccination involves two injections given 3 weeks apart. Revaccination is every 6 months. Our practice includes veterinarians that are accredited to administer the Hendra vaccine to your horse right away.

1. Hendra vaccine, Equivac HeV, is only available under APVMA Minor Use Permit (PER13510)

Hendra virus has the potential to kill you, your family and your horses and with over 70% of outbreaks occurring between May and August, now is the perfect time to prepare through vaccination of all your horses.

Since 1994 this virus has killed over 80 horses together with the devastating consequences of four human deaths associated with the equine cases. Hendra virus is transmitted from bats to horses, and bats carrying Hendra virus have been identified in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory and most recently South Australia.

There is also the risk of horse to horse transmission, and with horses travelling interstate being so common, there is a risk of an infected horse travelling into an area that has never seen a case of Hendra virus before and shedding virus before it shows any symptoms of sickness.

The latest Hendra outbreaks have shown that there are no typical signs of Hendra Infection. For further information visit our Hendra Page

Stop Parvo In Its Tracks

STOP PARVO IN ITS TRACKS

‘Parvo’ is a highly contagious infectious disease of dogs caused by canine parvovirus. It is often fatal, especially in dogs infected at less than 1 year of age when deaths from the disease can be 50% or greater.

Dogs with parvo most often develop severe enteritis, leading to vomiting and diarrhoea that is often, but not always, bloody. Infected dogs are also lethargic, have a high fever and won’t eat. In very young puppies, the virus can also infect the heart, often leading to sudden death.

The most common source of infection is directly from an infected dog shedding virus in its faeces or from virus that has contaminated the environment. Canine parvovirus is one of the most stable viruses in the environment, surviving for at least one year or more in soil.

While parvo can potentially be treated, it is not always successful, can be expensive, and means much unnecessary suffering for your dog. Vaccination is the only certain method of preventing this potentially fatal disease.

Don’t risk your dog’s health – make an appointment today with Glen Innes Veterinary Hospital on 6732 1988 to ensure your dog is protected from this deadly disease.

Remember – parvo is a vaccine-preventable disease!

Make Sure Your Horses Are Wormed

We are encountering quite a few horses that have large worm burdens lately. With the reduced feed about this increases the grazing pressure and horses will graze closer to contaminated faeces. The article Worming Horses provides some handy hints on worming including strategies to minimise drench resistance. It is important to note that rotating drenches should be done on a yearly basis and should be rotation between a ‘mectin’ class and a ‘BZ’ class.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Dieseases

We are seeing an increased number of cats presented with Lower Urinary Tract Disease which is probably due to lower water intake because of the cooler and overcast weather. The symptoms of this condition are characterized by painful urination and cats may be seen to strain to urinate, vocalise while toileting, produce frequent small amounts of urine (sometimes with blood) and go to the toilet outside of the litterbox or in unusual places. Cats can also be lethargic, depressed, drink more than normal and lick at their genital area frequently.

The disease can progress to complete blockage of the urethra (meaning the cat can not urinate) and this can happen within hours. This can be a life threatening disease and early detection generally improves outcome. If you notice any of the above signs please contact your vet immediately.

Ongoing treatment of this disease generally revolves around dietary management (feeding Prescription Diets) and encouraging increased water intake.

A handout on Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease can be found on our Information page.