Contagious dog disease confirmed in Churchdown

Staff at Brambles Vet Surgery in Churchdown, at urging dog owners to be on the look out for a canine killer virus.

Dog owners have been warned to vaccinate their pets to protect them from a deadly contagious disease which was recently confirmed in Churchdown.

Brambles Veterinary Surgery, in Churchdown, treated a Jack Russell last week which had caught the canine parvovirus.

The dog, sadly, did not survive the disease, which has common symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and severe weight loss.

It is a rare disease which vets in Gloucester say they see only up to a couple of times a year.

But they are warning that dogs need to be vaccinated at a young age to protect against the disease and stop families losing their beloved pets.

Owner of Brambles Veterinary Surgery, Neil Savill, said: “The dog was too poorly and we had to put it to sleep for its own benefit. There are some things which we sadly can’t treat. “Most dogs are vaccinated against the disease so we don’t see it very often. But when we do we can see up to half a dozen at a time. It comes on very quickly and they can get very poorly.”

Canine parvovirus is highly contagious and can be spread through dog faeces.

Mr Savill said there are a number of ways that dogs can be exposed to canine parvovirus, and that the disease is preventable through boosters and vaccinations.

He said: “Vaccinations are the only way to go. The disease spreads very easily and there’s always a risk of the virus being passed on through faeces in the footpath or the park.”

Cliff Alderman, vet at SPA Veterinary Services, in Painswick Road, said vaccinations against canine parvovirus need to be topped up every three years.

He said: “Its devastating for families to see their pets become very ill and possibly die.“It is a disease that is much more of a problem with very young pets, who are a few weeks of age. It’s treatable in some cases but it can be very expensive.
“The vaccinations available for the disease are very effective.