Dog owners would be wise to be on their guard and ensure that their pooches’ vaccinations are up to date, given that the UK is currently in the grips of a parvovirus outbreak, a highly infectious disease that can actually be fatal to dogs.
Cases have now been seen in the north-east, parts of the south-west and elsewhere, and it would certainly be wise to take all the precautions you can in order to put your mind at ease.
The disease attacks the cells in the intestines and prevents them from absorbing vital nutrients, which means that your pup will very quickly become weak and dehydrated. Symptoms include bloody foul-smelling diarrhoea, loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, collapse, fever and sudden death.
Be particularly careful if you have young puppies at home because they can go downhill incredibly quickly if they contract the virus, because their immune systems aren’t as strong as in older animals.
And remember that the disease is highly contagious and is easily spread if dogs aren’t up to date with vaccinations, so that should be your first line of defence.
According to the Blue Cross, the average stay in hospital for a pooch recovering from parvo is between five and seven days. Sadly, puppies are often not strong enough to survive and many of those that contract the disease die.
Vaccinating your dog will also help prevent big vet bills as these can easily run into the hundreds – and even thousands – of pounds. Vaccinations are certainly a lot cheaper, so if you’re worried you’re not up to date book an appointment with your vet now.
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