A deadly outbreak of canine parvovirus has killed two dogs in Milton Keynes.
Dog owners are now being warned to check their pet’s vaccinations following two confirmed, and one suspected, case of the fatal virus.
It is transmitted through infected dog faeces and is extremely contagious.
The deadly disease affects all breeds and types of domesticated dogs, and the virus may be passed on to cats, ferrets and mink.
Symptoms include severe vomiting, depression, bloody and smelly diarrhoea, and pain around the stomach area; however, some cases show very mild, if any, clinical signs.
Emma Pillow, of Greensands Vets in Woburn Sands, fears that there has been a lapse in vaccinations across the city after Labradoodle pup Teddy became poorly a few days after arriving in MK.
His owner Ann Corbett bought her puppy from a breeder in the north of England.
Despite treatment he very sadly died from the effects of parvovirus.
Ms Pillow, Teddy’s vet, said: “We haven’t seen any dogs with suspected parvovirus in the surgery for the past two years, so when three cases came in in quick succession, alarm bells started ringing.
“My advice to owners is to check whether your dog’s vaccinations are up to date – for parvovirus as well as other infectious diseases.”
It is seen in any age of dog from around four weeks of age, but is most common in dogs less than a year old.
The incubation period for the development of canine parvovirus is between four and seven days following infection.
Ms Pillow added: “Puppies and young dogs are very susceptible to parvovirus, so if you’re thinking of buying a new puppy, do make sure you see them with their mother at the breeder’s premises and check the conditions the dogs and puppies are being kept in.”
For further advice on your dog’s vaccinations or to check that their vaccination certificate is up to date, contact your own vet or local veterinary practice.
Teddy’s owner Mrs Corbett said: “We are extremely grateful for everything our vets did for Teddy on our behalf.
“Please check that your dog is properly vaccinated because if it can stop just one family experiencing what we did then it will have done a good job.”
For further information, contact Greensands Vets, telephone 01908 282101 or visit www.greensandsvets.co.uk/home.html