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Warning to Norwich dog-owners as killer virus strikes

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:35 01 July 2010

Pet owners are being urged to vaccinate their dogs against the deadly parvovirus

Pet owners are being urged to vaccinate their dogs against the deadly parvovirus

Kate Scotter

Pet owners are being urged to vaccinate their dogs against the deadly parvovirus after another outbreak of the killer disease. The canine killer last struck Norwich in 2006 when about 70 dogs were infected and more than 40 died.

Pet owners are being urged to vaccinate their dogs against the deadly parvovirus after another outbreak of the killer disease.

The canine killer last struck Norwich in 2006 when about 70 dogs were infected and more than 40 died.

Now alarm bells are ringing with the discovery of a new outbreak of parvovirus which has already infected a number of pets in Norwich.

It is believed several dogs have been infected with the disease in recent weeks with at least one fatality.

The news has led to fresh calls for pet owners to get their four-legged friends vaccinated and to ensure they clean up after their pooch.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: “This is a really important issue for the public to be aware of.

“From our side, our contractor's technical support team that looks after strays in the city will be extra vigilant when collecting dogs, carrying out thorough cleansing of vehicles and holding kennels.

“We have notified kennels we work with so they are also aware.

“We would urge dog owners to ensure their pet is vaccinated against this disease. This is even more reason for people to make sure they clean up after their dogs and dispose of their mess responsibly, to avoid spreading the disease.”

In 2006, a serious parvovirus outbreak claimed the lives of 43 dogs with 70 animals infected with the disease in just one month.

Parvovirus is highly contagious because it is transmitted via dog faeces rather than direct contact with other animals.

It can be carried around on people's shoes and get into homes where it can stay infectious for several months.

There is no specific cure to parvovirus, which causes heart disease and is most dangerous to young dogs and puppies.

The main symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea, severe lethargy, dehydration and high fever.

Stephan Martini, a joint veterinary partner at Companion Care in Hall Road, said: “Parvovirus is a severe problem, especially in non-vaccinated dogs.

“It is extremely quick from the outset and unfortunately can be fatal. We have had cases here in Norwich and parvovirus spreads like bushfire. It's highly contagious.”

Fixed penalty tickets of £50 can be issued to people who do not clear up their dogs' mess.

Magistrates can impose a fine of up to £1,000 if a case is referred to them.

Have you been affected by the parvovirus outbreak? Call Evening News reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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