RSPCA warning over deadly parvovirus in dogs in Buckinghamshire
Dog owners in Buckinghamshire are being told to be "vigilant" after a number of puppies with a potentially life-threatening virus were found abandoned.
Three incidents involving dogs which either have or are suspected to have parvovirus occurred in just two days.
That includes six terrier-type puppies which were found dumped in a box near the Newport Pagnell Sports Pavilion.
The RSPCA are advising owners if they suspect their pet is sick, to "take them straight to a vet".
RSPCA chief inspector Jim Lucas said: "Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease with a high mortality rate among untreated dogs.
"We would encourage owners to ensure their pets are vaccinated to help avoid the heartbreak of losing a much loved pet to the disease."
What is parvovirus?
- Parvovirus attacks cells in a dog's intestines, stopping it from absorbing nutrients
- This causes weakness and dehydration
- Symptoms includes foul-smelling diarrhoea with blood in it, vomiting, loss of appetite, collapse, depression, fever and sudden death
- Dogs and puppies can be vaccinated against parvovirus from the age of six weeks. Boosters are needed.
- It is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily through unvaccinated dogs
Source: Blue Cross
Parvovirus first appeared in the area first when a puppy was dumped near the Newport Pagnell Sports Pavilion on Sunday, while a second had to be put down was taken to the vet by the animal's new owner that same day with the same symptoms.
Six puppies were then discovered on Monday - one of which was put down and the others are receiving treatment for suspected parvovirus.
Mr Lucas said: "We are looking into these incidents and an active investigation is now under way.
"The worry is that if these puppies have got parvo, or been in contact with other dogs that may have the disease, then there could be others out there which are sick and in need of treatment."