Vets issue warning over surge of deadly virus in dogs

15 June 2021, 17:02

There has been an over 80 per cent rise in parvovirus cases in the last year.
There has been an over 80 per cent rise in parvovirus cases in the last year. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

Vets have issued a warning over a deadly and highly infectious virus in dogs following a rise in UK cases.

In the first five months of 2021, 60 clinics around the country reported 89 cases of parvovirus - an 82 per cent increase on the previous year.

The virus is known to attack the gastrointestinal tract and immune system in dogs.

UK vet network My Family Vets said the increase was down to a combination of the "lockdown puppy boom" and owners not keeping up with vaccinations.

Dog owner Stephanie Wilkins nearly lost her cocker spaniel puppy - Cooper - after he contracted the virus just a day after she got him.

"We thought it was just the new surroundings," she said.

"But he became really quiet and wouldn't eat and when he started having bad diarrhoea, we knew we had to get him help.

"He was so ill that we were told he probably wouldn't survive, which was horrendous.

Read more: Coronavirus lab leak theory discussed by G7 leaders, WHO boss confirms

Read more: 'Stop forcing your lifestyle on animals': Vegan caller defends fast food blockade

The cocker spaniel went through intensive treatment after contracting the virus.
The cocker spaniel went through intensive treatment after contracting the virus. Picture: PA

"The vets said they would try everything they could if we wanted, and we just felt we had to give him a chance.

"When I went in to see him, he looked awful, as if he just wanted to die and I didn't want him to suffer. But every time he got really bad and it looked as if every hour might be his last, he would stabilise again."

Cooper survived the intensive treatment, despite parvovirus having an 80 per cent fatality rate in dogs.

Stephanie, a hospital worker, is now backing vets' calls to ensure owners are vaccinating their pets and seeking help straight away if they see their puppy becoming unwell.

She said: "I think with everything we've had going on, we missed some warning signs.

"You've got to know everything is genuine and definitely make sure you get all of the vaccinations you need."

The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) clinics see around 1,500 cases of parvo every year.

Early treatment can include intravenous drips to treat shock and combat dehydration and anti-nausea medication.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Just Stop Oil protesters have targeted planes at a private airfield in Stansted - where Taylor Swift's jets are believed to have landed just hours before.

Just Stop Oil protesters target jets at private airfield just 'hours after Taylor Swift’s arrival' at site

Live
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (centre), meets staff during a visit to Morrisons in Wiltshire

General Election LIVE: Poll shows Starmer on top after LBC phone-ins as calls for election betting enquiry ramp up after alleged offences

Exclusive
Watch in full: LBC's exclusive phone-in interviews with Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Watch in full: LBC's exclusive phone-in interviews with Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Here's everything we know about missing teenager Jay Slater.

Everything we know about missing British teenager Jay Slater who vanished on holiday in Tenerife

William appeared at Ascot

Prince William shares tender moment with Kate's mother as she suffers mishap at Ascot

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages

'I just want my baby back': Mother of missing Brit Jay Slater, 19, issues plea after 'false sighting' delays search

Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC’s two exclusive phone-ins

Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’

OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein is pictured with CEO Stockton Rush, who died on the Titan sub

Oceangate co-founder claims he can 'safely' send 1,000 people to Venus

Labour must ditch 'phoney fiscal rules' and borrow to invest in public services, says boss of UK's largest trade union

Labour must ditch 'phoney fiscal rules' and borrow to invest in public services, says boss of UK's largest trade union

Theo Paphitis speaks to LBC.

'They've lost the plot': Ex-Tory donor and Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis reveals why he's switched support to Labour

Exclusive
Sir David Ormand has criticised the Conservatives for suggesting Keir Starmer is a security risk

Former spy boss criticises 'disreputable' Tory suggestion that Putin and Xi would welcome Starmer as Prime Minister

Justin Timberlake was arrested on Tuesday

'We'll have a lot to say': Justin Timberlake's lawyer vows to 'vigorously defend' singer after DWI arrest

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday

Rishi Sunak set 'to become first PM to lose seat' in election wipeout with Conservatives down to just 53 MPs, poll finds

Starmer and Neville

Keir Starmer tells Gary Neville he needs to win British people's trust, as he warns turning UK around will take 10 years

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives for a visit to Great Wood Farm Early Years Centre, Grantham in East Midlands, June 17

Sunak close protection officer arrested over alleged election date bets

Allen Morgan, 73, said he was locked in a "passionate but forbidden" affair with his now wife Margaret, 75, when he hired a hitman to kill his then-partner Carol

Pensioner found guilty of conspiring to murder wife after hiring hitman amid 'passionate but forbidden' affair