Warning over dog virus

DOG owners are being warned to be on their guard against a potentially lethal virus which has started spreading in the Great Yarmouth borough.

Staff at Haven Veterinary Surgeons in Yarmouth have treated five dogs for canine parvovirus during the last week and have had to cancel routine pet operations to stop the disease from spreading.

The Queen Anne’s Road surgery’s director Robert Livie said dog owners needed to be vigilant to try and prevent the disease from spreading. There is an incubation period of three to 10 days and dogs that may have come into contact with the infection need to be isolated.

The virus causes vomiting, diarrhoea, extreme high temperatures and fever in dogs and can be deadly in some cases, especially with more vulnerable younger and older dogs.

The contagion mainly affects dogs and can be caught if they come into contact with other dogs’ faeces or if humans come into contact with dog faeces.

Mr Livie said: “If dog owners could take care to pick up any mess left behind by their pets that would certainly help, if only from the environmental health point of view. It is more just a case of being vigilant.”

He added Haven Vets staff were also taking care to clear up any faeces left by pets and disinfect their premises.

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Dogs carrying the infection are treated with plenty of fluids and antivirals.