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Parvovirus: The deadly virus that could claim your pet's life is in London - here's everything you need to know

Cases have been reported in London of the highly contagious disease

There have been cases in London of a highly contagious disease that is potentially fatal for dogs .

Pet owners have been urged to be on the lookout for symptoms of parvovirus, which has been killing dogs across the UK.

Along with London, cases of the deadly virus have also been reported in Buckinghamshrie, Kent and Hertfordshire.

Animal charities are warning people who own dogs to be aware as most animals who catch the disease die.

The virus attacks a dog's intestines and stops them from being able to absorb nutrients and spreads very quickly.

Lincolnshire Live has put together a round-up of what to be on the lookout for and how it affects animals.

Animal charity Blue Cross offer the following advice:

How do you know if your dog has parvovirus?

Symptoms of parvo include foul-smelling diarrhoea with blood in it, vomiting, loss of appetite, collapse, depression, fever and sudden death.

Who is at risk?

(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Young puppies and unvaccinated dogs, including those who have not had their booster injections, are most at risk from becoming victims of parvo.

Parvo outbreaks are most commonly seen in towns and cities with a large population of unvaccinated dogs.

Is parvovirus contagious to other dogs?

It is highly contagious and can be spread very easily and it can take up to seven days for a dog to display symptoms. It can be spread through bodily fluids and touch.

How can I prevent my dog catching this disease?

The disease is highly contagious for dogs(Image: 2004 Getty Images)

Dogs and puppies can be vaccinated against parvovirus from the age of six weeks.

Vaccination for parvovirus is routine and is one of the three main diseases that dogs are normally vaccinated against. Booster injections are also needed.

Parvo and puppies

If you are getting a puppy from a breeder or rescue centre, do not take them home without making sure they have had at least their first vaccination against parvovirus first and ask for proof.

What should I do if I suspect my dog has parvo?

Call a veterinary practice immediately for advice and keep the dog away from other dogs.

Most deaths from parvovirus happen within 48 to 72 hours after the symptoms begin.

The quicker you seek help, the greater the chance of survival.

My dog has parvovirus. What treatment is available?

There are no drugs that can kill the virus.

Instead, treatment for parvo is designed to support a dog’s immune system and help their body become strong enough to fight off the disease.

For more information on the virus head here .

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