December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Vets are warning dog owners to keep a close eye on their pets after an outbreak of a potentially fatal virus.
Whitworth Veterinary Practice at Trimley St Mary, near Felixstowe, has dealt with two cases of the highly infectious canine parvovirus in the past few days.
Both pets were puppies under one year old, and vets are worried there could be further cases in the Felixstowe area.
Vet Katherine Creamer said puppies, especially breeds such as rottweilers and Dobermans which are particularly susceptible to the virus, were most at risk because their immune system is not sufficiently developed to fight off the illness.
She said: “Unfortunately, there is no magic tablet we can give to cure this illness.
“We can help and support the animal’s immune system to get it to fight back and as the dog will not be eating and will be losing fluid to keep them hydrated, along with the use of antibiotics to aggressively fight the bacteria.
“In the worst cases, this virus can prove fatal, with the animals dying from organ failure.
“Most people in this area are very good at getting their dogs vaccinated.
“Dogs, eat, lick and sniff everything they find though and this is a terrible virus which lives in the soil and dogs can come across it at any time.
“We don’t want people to worry unnecessarily and some of the symptoms can also be symptoms of other less serious illnesses, but we would be happy to give advice to any owners worried about their pets.”
Symptoms owners should look out for include their dogs being depressed or apathetic, not eating, sickness and diarrhoea with blood in it, as the bacteria attacks the intestinal walls.
Organisers of the Landguard Dogs Day last weekend cancelled the event because of the parvovirus.
Landguard events co-ordinator Stephen Rampley said: “It is highly infectious between dogs that have not been vaccinated and we did not want to be responsible for spreading it.”