Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry hit by dog disease outbreak

People trying to save money by not vaccinating their pets may have led to an increase in the number of dogs dying from a disease in Coventry.

Parvovirus, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs, is highly contagious and has claimed the lives of 14 animals since January.

Kurt Vandamme, senior veterinary surgeon at Coventry PDSA, said it might be down to people trying to save money in the current economic climate.

He said the increase was "dramatic".

The PDSA's Coventry PetAid hospital had seen 31 cases between January and May.

'Extremely worrying'

Mr Vandamme said vets in the city usually treated about one case a month and the increase had been "severe".

He said: "There could be a number of reasons why we've seen this dramatic increase.

"One reason is the vaccination uptake has reduced and that is most likely down to the economic climate."

Infected dogs have to be isolated to prevent the disease spreading and the current outbreak is so bad that the charity's isolation kennels have been at full capacity.

Mr Vandamme said the influx was "extremely worrying".

"Despite doing everything we can, we've had a number of fatalities," he said.

He added the best defence was vaccination.

Owners who suspect their dog has the disease have been asked to keep their pet isolated and telephone their vet instead of taking the dog to the surgery.

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