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"Suzie" - Jack Russell Cross Vaccinated against Parvovirus
Photo: Suzie
Suzie

Two weeks ago a warning to veterinary surgeons across the UK was issued by the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) that dog deaths from parvovirus are on the increase (43 in Norwich).

The main presenting symptoms are vomiting, severe bloody diarrhoea, lethargy, anorexia and consequent dehydration.

When I first started work as a veterinary surgeon in the town of Bury, Lancashire in the mid 80's it was a huge problem that was turned around only by a very successful vaccination programme.

 

Whilst pockets of this potentially fatal disease have always remained there are now increased numbers of reports including areas that have previously thought not to have a problem. Norfolk and Lincolnshire were mentioned as 2 areas where the case numbers have reached crisis point.

NOAH has suggested that the number of unvaccinated dogs has risen to a level where the virus can once more thrive. It is estimated that up to 50% of the UK canine population remain unprotected.

At Fairfield, we have an above average percentage of our patients who are fully vaccinated and are therefore pleased that thus far we have not identified any cases.

Dogs like "Suzie" are presented at the surgery every year for a health assessment and on-going disease prevention. Accordingly, as well as maintaining her immune status her heart condition and dental problems can be addressed so that she might continue for many years to come.

At the age of 12 years she continues to exhibit her vocal enthusiasm for all the excitement to be encountered in our waiting room and accordingly is granted the privilege of entering through the side entrance! An accolade only given to our most "worthy" patients!

 

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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