– The Daily Dog has discovered a great resource for Australian dog owners, which shows you what outbreaks of specified canine diseases are occurring or have recently occurred in your area. The site is called Disease Watchdog, and although it is sponsored by a Veterinary drug company, they (thankfully) don’t push their products via the site – just provide an excellent resource for the general public.
We’ve included a screenshot of the website homepage at left, which can be accessed by clicking here. Once at the site, you’ll need to register (a pretty painless process) in order to access it’s database. It’s reasonable to assume the drug company in question (Virbac) is seeking your email address as part of the registration process so they can send you marketing information in future. Be that as it may, you can always unsubscribe to such marketing, and we believe it’s a cheap price to pay for access to such a handy tool.
The database contains information on a wide range of diseases and parasite outbreaks (such as Paralysis Tick) – but for the sake of brevity we’ll just call them all “diseases”. Once registered and logged in to the site, you can select the range of diseases and their outbreaks you would like to be abreast of, and should an outbreak of any one of the nominated disease(s) be occurring or have recently occurred in your local area, you’ll see the information displayed when you hit the “search & display” tab.
There are additional parameters you can specify when searching, as you will see when on the website. For the pups4sale team, located in the South Burnett region of Southern Queensland, we have selected Paralysis Tick as the “disease” in question, with additional parameters of: (1) a 100Km radius from our location and: (2) outbreaks occurring within the past two months. When we hit the “search & display” tab, the site generated a standard “Googlemap” type display, which can be manipulated with your computer mouse. You can zoom in to your particular area quite easily by doing so, and in this instance we found no outbreak of Paralysis Tick being reported.
If a disease you are concerned about is reported as having recently occurred in your area, then of course the choice is up to you in terms of whether you need to take steps (such as additional vaccinations, quarantining, etc) to protect your dog/s from the particular disease outbreak.
Importantly, the information on the database is supplied only by Veterinary Surgeries across Australia; it is not based on rumour or hearsay, but on reports from local Vets around the Country. The only downside is for the database to remain effective, lots of Vets around Australia need to be uploading to it and need to be doing so at least once a week. Hopefully that is the case and continues to be so in the future, as this database is such a useful resource for Australian dog owners.