A CONFIRMED case in Hungerford of the highly- contagious canine disease, parvovirus, has sadly proved fatal.
But the good news is that, so far, it remains an apparently isolated instance.
Earlier this month the Veterinary Hospital in Hungerford contacted the Newbury Weekly News to confirm a case of parvovirus in the area.
The hospital’s managing director, Jonny Green, said at the time “this is a local dog that normally walks on the common and the marsh but does go elsewhere”.
He said the disease is “normally picked up from infected faeces.
“It’s a horrible disease and can kill them.
“The difficulty is knowing where this dog picked it up from as it can stay in the environment for a number of days.”
This week, Mr Green’s colleague, hospital clinical director Will Hodge (pictured), has confirmed that the disease did, indeed, prove fatal in this case.
He said: “It’s a real shame because the dog had started to perk up.
“The owner is obviously upset but was keen for us to get the message out that dogs should be vaccinated against parvovirus.”
Mr Hodge said that many owners had brought their dogs in to be vaccinated against parvovirus after this newspaper highlighted the issue and added: “That might have afforded enough protection to ensure this remains an isolated case.
“So the take-home message for dog owners is to make sure your pet is up to date with vaccinations.”
The disease leads to weakness and severe, bloody vomiting and diarrhoea.
Dogs, and especially puppies, can die quickly from dehydration and severe blood loss.
Parvovirus can be caught directly from other infected dogs and symptoms usually develop within ten days of infection.
But, as the virus can survive for several months in the environment, a dog could pick it up just by sniffing around in a park.
Meanwhile, dog owners are advised to contact their vet immediately if a pet displays any symptoms.
People with concerns can call the Veterinary Hospital for more information on (01488) 683999.