A vets in Warwickshire is warning dog owners to be vigilant after a confirmed outbreak of a potentially-lethal condition in the county.
Avonvale Veterinary Centres has issued the warning in the wake of several confirmed cases of parvovirus, a viral infection which is extremely contagious and often leads to death if left untreated.
The outbreak has been confirmed around the Shipston-on-Stour area and owners are being urged to ensure their dogs’ vaccines are up-to-date to keep them protected.
Mark Taylor, clinical director at Avonvale, said: “Parvovirus can affect dogs of all breeds and age and spreads through direct contact or infected faeces. Affected dogs can even spread the virus after recovery for up to eight weeks.
“Symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood.
“Unfortunately, the virus is highly resistant and can remain in the environment for many months outside.
“It’s important to spread the word about this virus so that more dog owners can be aware of its severity, take precautions and be able to spot the symptoms.”
The best way to protect against parvovirus is to have dogs vaccinated as puppies, with an additional booster vaccination usually done at one year of age.
“If you think your dog is displaying any symptoms of parvovirus, get in touch with your local vet straight away. There is an instant test that can be done on a faecal sample or swabs, so treatment can be started immediately,” said Mark.
Avonvale Veterinary Centres has branches in Warwick, Stratford, Kenilworth, Southam, Wellesbourne, Heathcote and Cubbington.