Mystery Dog Illness Sweeping The UK Has Been Identified By TV Vet Martin Paterson
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Speaking this week, Martin Paterson, director at Donaldson’s Vets, which is featured in Channel 5's The Yorkshire Vet, revealed a “significant number” of pet pooches had tested positive for a disease known as parvovirus.
The celebrity vet conducted tests for the virus after noticing symptoms in dogs such as vomiting, diarrhoea and a loss of appetite, similar to the symptoms linked to the human tummy bug gastroenteritis.
Paterson said he has noticed parvovirus cases spreading across South Yorkshire where his practice is located as pet owners continue to report their beloved fur babies falling ill.
He spoke with Yorkshire Live about the growing number of cases: “We have been testing the majority of these cases for parvovirus and we have turned up a number of dogs who have tested positive.
“A lot of them are very ill and need quite a lot of intensive, inpatient management to be able to turn them around.”
Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus and is one of the most serious viruses a dog can be infected with.
It spreads by contact with contaminated feces and it mainly affects the cells of the body that divide rapidly, such as the cells in the intestinal tract and bone marrow.
Puppies and adolescent dogs are generally affected but unvaccinated senior dogs can also become infected.
Humans can’t get parvovirus from dogs and vice versa because humans have their own version of the virus.
Paterson said pet owners noticed something was amiss with their dogs after visiting the seaside however other owners are also reporting symptoms even without a trip to the beach.
“We have not been able to find any pattern to connect these dogs. They are of all ages, all breeds and all geographical areas across the branches of our practice.
“They [infections] do seem to happen quite randomly.”
He urged owners to seek medical attention if they notice symptoms as soon as possible for their dogs to get tested which involves analysing the faeces for the virus.