Vets’ warning to dog owners after return of deadly parovirus disease

MPMC Willow Veterinary Surgery
MPMC Willow Veterinary Surgery

A veterinary practice is warning dog owners in Milton Keynes to check their pet’s vaccinations are up to date following three cases and deaths from the parvovirus this week.

Unvaccinated dogs are particularly at risk in the wake of recent cases of the life-threatening parvop virus. It resulted in the deaths of three young puppies which were unable to fight off the disease, and caused heartbreak for the pups’ owners.

Young puppies and older dogs are especially susceptible to the deadly disease.

Parvovirus is spread between dogs very easily. The virus can survive in the environment for long periods and it is particularly hard to get rid of. It is easily spread on shoes, clothing and on the coat and foot pads of dogs.

Symptoms of acute gastroenteritis come on quickly and include bloody diarrhoea, vomiting and lethargy. Sadly a significant proportion of those affected die within a few days.

If your dog has bloody diarrhoea and is very depressed or unresponsive, they need seeing sooner rather than later.

A spokesman for Willow Veterinary Care, in Newport Pagnell, said: “Diseases like parvovirus are believed to be on the increase because the number of dogs vaccinated against it is lower than it should be. This could be due to the current economic climate where people are trying to eliminate certain costs from their yearly budgets. This could prove to be a false economy as not only is unvaccinated pets potentially at risk, but they may have also shed the virus into the local environment causing a risk to other dogs. Prevention through vaccination is the only proven method of protecting pets against serious diseases like parvovirus.

“We have seen first-hand very recently the devastation that parvovirus causes so we have instigated a vaccination amnesty to help limit the spread of disease. Owners of dogs whose vaccinations are overdue have to restart the course again, but until the end of July we are giving £10 off the course which brings the cost back to the price of the annual booster.

“This is a great opportunity to get your dog’s vaccinations back on track but more importantly it gets your dog back to being protected.”

To contact WillowVets, call 01908 610982 or 01234 711473.