Vaccinate your dog against deadly virus

VETS are warning dog owners to be alert over a deadly canine illness. Four dogs have died from parvovirus, while several others have been left seriously ill after the illness hit other towns in Hertfordshire. Caroline Manser, of Stone Lane Veterinary Cli

VETS are warning dog owners to be alert over a deadly canine illness.

Four dogs have died from parvovirus, while several others have been left seriously ill after the illness hit other towns in Hertfordshire.

Caroline Manser, of Stone Lane Veterinary Clinic in Royston said: "Although there haven't been any cases of parvovirus here in Royston, it's still important that all dogs are vaccinated.

"At the moment it is not a concern - but outbreaks of parvovirus can suddenly appear and it can be fatal.


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"I would urge owners to make sure their dogs are vaccinated.

"They should get it done as soon as possible, as parvovirus is covered by the vaccination that each dog receives in its annual booster."

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For dogs who have not been vaccinated, the virus, which became an epidemic in the 1970s, can attack an animal's digestive system and cause it to lose weight.

Although no longer present in epidemic proportions, parvovirus is still relatively common in unvaccinated dogs.

The disease can be passed through dog faeces, or brought into the house on shoes and clothing.

The early warning signs are diarrhoea and vomiting.

Ms Manser added: "It's not an overly common virus but it's easy for an outbreak to happen.

"Royston hasn't had any cases for a long time, so dogs in the area will be less immune.

"In that sense it is a concern, and I would urge owners to be alert."

Another vet said: "I wouldn't say this is a problem or a worry, but owners should still keep a check on their dogs.

"As long as they have their vaccinations there shouldn't be a problem."

- For more information on parvovirus and the vaccines available, contact your veterinary surgery.

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