Shaping the future of animal health

Closure of Disease Watchdog

Monday, July 10, 2017 

Disease WatchDog

Virbac Australia would like to inform you of our decision to close Australia’s national pet disease surveillance system – Disease WatchDog.

Launched in 2010, Disease Watchdog provided Australian veterinarians with an opportunity to capture, track and monitor disease outbreaks.

Supported by the Australian Veterinarian Association since its inception, the innovative and successful program has provided useful disease data on common dog and cat illnesses such as canine parvovirus, tick paralysis, heartworm disease, FIP, FeLV, calicivirus, herpesvirus, canine cough, distemper, hepatitis, FIV and more.

Offering real-time data and ease of use, Disease WatchDog has been a successful and innovative initiative for Virbac Australia, with 1394 vets registered, 22315 cases submitted and 9 published articles referencing the program.

Given this, it is with a heavy heart that Virbac Australia has decided to close Disease WatchDog in 2017.

Our decision is based on the following reasons:

  1. Disease WatchDog has experienced lower rates of usage in the past year, with only 58 vets logging cases. This means that the number of cases logged have not been reflective of outbreak numbers being reported, which impacts the integrity and analysis of the data.
  2. Disease WatchDog has been ‘superseded’ by a not-for-profit system called the Veterinary Companion Animal Surveillance System (VetCompass). Offering a similar database system to Disease WatchDog, VetCompass has the support of Australia’s veterinary schools at Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Queensland, Murdoch, Charles Sturt and James Cook Universities.

Virbac Australia would like to take this opportunity to thank-you for your contribution to epidemiological research and for supporting our program.

Please refer to the FAQ document for specific information regarding the closure.

Virbac Australia remains committed to supporting animal health initiatives in Australia. Providing a range of animal health products for dogs, cats, cattle, sheep,  and horses, Virbac Australia employees around 260 staff across the county, with local research and development and manufacturing.

Thank-you again for supporting Disease WatchDog.


What is VetCompass?

VetCompass is a project of the University of Sydney, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, Murdoch University, Charles Sturt University and James Cook University, in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College, London UK. The idea behind this project is to build a database from information gathered during day-to-day veterinary consultations to increase the understanding of the frequency of and risk factors for disorders seen in Australian dogs and cats. Like Disease WatchDog, the program will provide a rich source of data for research into their health problems as encountered by veterinarians.

Click here to visit VetCompass website
Click here to read Australian Veterinary Association's article on VetCompass



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