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Graham's Blog

Our Vet's Blog

This is a copy of our Veterinary Advisor Graham Hines Blog which hopefully has some useful information

Vaccicheck and Canine Parvovirus (CPV)


 There has been an increase in the number of cases of this nasty disease in the UK recently it is reported (see below)

Should we believe these scare stories are they just a way to get dog owners in for more boosters co-ordinated by the largest corporate practice owner in the UK?

Should you rush in and get your pets revaccinated or this there a better approach?

I will tell you my approach

This story appeared in the veterinary profession’s weekly free-sheet the Vet Times:

Vets across the UK have been warned to brace themselves for a parvovirus surge after reported cases doubled in the first three months of 2021.

The warning comes after data from pet emergency service Vets Now showed a 129% increase in suspected cases of the potentially fatal disease in the first three months of 2021, compared with the same period last year.

IVC Evidensia – owner of Vets Now – has also released research showing that up to 45% of registered pet owners hadn’t got vital vaccinations and boosters.

It’s thought a potential surge in cases could be coming as a result of the massive boom in lockdown puppies and concerns over still attending surgeries for routine jabs.

Edward Davies, chairman of the UK clinical board at IVC Evidensia said: “There are several reasons why we are really concerned about seeing an increase in cases of CPV and our practices have been taking steps to brace themselves for a potential resurgence in this disease, as well as ensuring they are encouraging their clients to keep up to date with dog vaccinations.

“Due to the lockdown puppy boom and the whole COVID-19 situation, ensuring preventive health care has been correctly followed for all pets has been a real challenge. The potential resurgence of CPV has been quite a worry during this time.”

The warning comes after a week-long battle saved a puppy from death when it contracted parvovirus. Labrador retriever Paisley was only weeks old when she was struck down by the highly contagious virus.

Owner Cathy Ball, a vet nurse at Cheshirepet Vets in Sandbach, had spotted the very earliest signs and Paisley was put on antiviral drugs and a drip, but after three days of nursing and care at Cheshirepet, Paisley became so ill he needed to be referred to Pride Vets.

The team at Pride Vets was led by Tiago Henriques, a resident in internal medicine. He said: “Paisley was very ill when she came in and I was concerned that we might not be able to save her.

“We had to continue with the supportive treatment she had already had, put her on a feeding tube and give her anti-nausea medication to stop her being sick. We monitored her 24 hours a day in our intensive care unit and it was about five days before, happily, we saw real signs that she was going to be okay.”

I also attended a webinar by Professor Richard Ford in which he discusses the use of anti-body testing to determine immunity to CPV. He quoted research in the US which shows that a proportion of puppies vaccinated at 12 or even 16 weeks of age are not demonstrating antibodies to parvo. Some studies shows as much as 10-15% watch the video recording of this if you want to learn more.


of puppies vaccinated at 12 or even 16 weeks of age are not demonstrating antibodies to parvo. Some studies shows as much as 10-15% watch the video recording of this if you want to learn more.

So the take home message is that 

  1. There is more parvo around because of the increased puppy population due to lockdown.
  2. Some of these pups may not have been vaccinated and are vulnerable to CPV
  3. Not all vaccinated puppies are fully protected against CPV

What should you do to check if your companions are protected?

I suggest ask your vet for a anti-body titre test such as Vaccicheck to see if they are immune. Its should cost around £50-70 and results should be rapidly available. You can now get “lateral flow” type tests which take only 10 minutes and are shown to be very accurate https://biotechkit.uk over 95% or vaccicheck which give a quantitative result and takes 30 minutes.

If your pet has no antibodies then ask for a vaccine - if he has it will put your mind at rest. Just one jab is enough and you could then repeat the antibody test 3 weeks later to check it has worked if you wish.

Your vet will probably just recommend you give a booster jab this is not my approach there is no point in jabbing him full of vaccine if he does not need it

My recommendation fr your new puppy is

Have a puppy vaccination DHP at 12 weeks of age and then anti-body test at 15 weeks (approx) and if need be revaccinate but only if needed and ideally only for just those disease needed e.g. CPV 

See my website for more details 

[Leptospirosis is more complicated see my website for more information but you do not have to give this but I do recommend a vaccine for parvo.]

Once you have demonstrated antibodies in your dog to one of these diseases you can  be confident she is immune and the body has formed cell medicated memory of that disease

My next Vaccicheck Clinics

I have arranged with the Dogs Diner in Moreton on the Wirral to do more clinics from now on as there has been a pent up demand with lock down

 We are still doing a full 3 disease antibody test for Distemper, Parvovirus and Adenovirus for only £30 currently 

The next date is 20th May 2021 from 10am ring the Diner for details...

Then we have a small clinic Saturday 29th May at the same venue.

If you have 3 or more dogs and are reasonable close to me in Deeside/Chester or in the Caernarfon areas we could arrange a home visit this will cost more but only £45.00 per dog.

I am hoping to arrange a venue in North Wales as well in the next few weeks. Watch this space

We can also test cats for Panleucopenia;  FIV and Leukaemia  and dogs and cats for Giardia  email for details again have a look on my website naturalpetcare.vet


The best time to anti-body test is 3-4 weeks after puppy vaccinations to determine if he is immune or is one of the possibly 10% who have high levels of maternal antibodies or for some other reason does not respond. But the test is valid and useful at any age.

There are more cases of parvo around at the moment but you can check if your pet is safe by getting an anti-body test ask your vet or come to us.

© Graham R Hines
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