Fears deadly dog virus is spreading after Brits snapped up puppies in lockdown

A deadly virus could run rampant among dogs after a boom in puppy sales during lockdown, experts have warned.

The highly infectious parvovirus can cause severe illness in young and unvaccinated dogs, and targets undivided cells in the body.

It is most common in puppies and young dogs, but can also affect adult pooches.

Between April and June last year, the registration of new puppies jumped by 26%.

During the pandemic, owners have struggled to get their pets properly vaccinated, The Independent reports.

According to research from My Family Vets, 45% of pet owners haven’t received their first vaccination course.

Lara Wilson, lead veterinary surgeon at a Vets Now pet emergency hospital, said: “Unfortunately we are seeing dogs presenting with sickness and diarrhoea symptoms on a daily basis at the moment, which is not the normal pattern.”

She claimed the pandemic has led to a “huge increase in dogs testing positive for canine parvovirus”.

The group said it had registered an 129% increase in suspected parvovirus cases in its 60 emergency clinics in the first three months of 2021.

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Edward Davies, chairman of the UK clinical board at My Family Vets, also worries about "the potential resurgence of parvo" with a lack of vaccinations.

However, the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (Savsnet) found no evidence that cases had been surging.

The team assesses millions of records from vet practices.

That said, Professor Alan Radford, from Liverpool University, said there could be a possibility of localised outbreaks.

Last month, a family had their hearts broken after their new puppy died from parvovirus just hours after arriving at its new home.

Annemarie, from Glasgow, bought Angus thePomeranian crossbreedonline as a present for her two daughters aged six and 11 years old.

The eldest daughter, Caitlyn, fell in love with Angus immediately.

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However, it wasn't long before he suddenly fell ill.

Vets ran tests and found he had parvovirus, before telling Annmarie and her two young daughters their beloved puppy would have to be put to sleep.

Annmarie said the “disgusting” breeders simply “disappeared” as she tried to get in touch with them, while the documents which arrived with the dog turned out to be fake.

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