Virus warning for dog owners

DOGS in Ipswich today remain in danger of contracting a potentially fatal disease which has swept across the area in recent weeks.The RSPCA has warned dog owners to take extra precautions to protect their pets against the disease, which resembles the highly dangerous Parvovirus.

DOGS in Ipswich today remain in danger of contracting a potentially fatal disease which has swept across the area in recent weeks.

The RSPCA has warned dog owners to take extra precautions to protect their pets against the disease, which resembles the highly dangerous Parvovirus.

The charity's Suffolk East and Ipswich branch has revealed that at least five dogs in the Ipswich area have either died or been put down in the last fortnight after contracting the virus.

Its clinic in Mill Lane, Martlesham, has treated a number of young dogs with severe gastroenteritis and two have been put down.

Symptoms include severe vomiting, diarrhoea with blood and loss of appetite.

Dogs most at risk are young, unvaccinated dogs and older dogs.

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Vets at the RSPCA's practice are advising dog owners to ensure their pet's vaccinations are up to date and to avoid taking them to high risk areas, such as parks, where large numbers of dogs are taken.

Simon Clarke, a partner with the Highcliff Veterinary Practice based at its Ellenbrook Gardens clinic, has also treated dogs with the disease and the practice has treated about 40 affected dogs in total.

It had sent samples for tests to see if the cases were actually parvovirus but each test has come back negative. It remains unclear exactly what disease the dogs are falling victim to.

Mr Clarke said it had been hoped the outbreak had reached its peak but two new cases were presented to the Ellenbrook Gardens clinic on Tuesday.

He said: “We thought it had slowed down about ten days ago but we've got two fresh cases.

“It's best to keep any dogs with diarrhoea, whether they're ill or not, inside and seek advice.”

Weblink: www.ipswich-rspca.org; www.highcliffvets.com

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