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Vets in East Lancashire drop fees to halt spread of deadly parvovirus
9:00pm Friday 1st March 2013 in News
PET owners who may not have had their animals vaccinated because of the recession are being warned about an increase in a potentially fatal disease.
Myerscough Vets, which has branches across the region, including Blackburn, is aiming to increase the number of pets routinely vaccinated through its Vaccine Amnesty campaign, which will run throughout March.
This year’s drive comes in the wake of 2012’s parvovirus outbreak which claimed the lives of dogs across East Lancashire.
Claire Batty, clinical lead veterinary surgeon at Myerscough Vets, said: “We have seen a huge rise in the number of cases due to unvaccinated dogs in the local population.
“The drive involves any unvaccinated animals or pets whose vaccines have lapsed because of the recession receiving a full vaccine course for a very much reduced cost.”
“The aim is to bring down the number of unvaccinated dogs, and other pets, in the area.
The parvovirus is spread when a dog comes into contact with the faeces of other infected dogs.
Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite or lethargy.
Ms Batty said: “The virus is highly contagious. I strongly advise people to get their pets seen to as soon as possible.
“It is important to raise awareness of the potentially fatal diseases that will occur in the dog and cat population.
“Some of the diseases we vaccinate against can also pass to humans so it is important that we maintain vaccination levels to eradicate these.”
Last year’s outbreak saw at least 13 dogs die as a result of contracting the virus.
Elaine Pendlebury, senior vet with People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), said: “This sort of campaign is absolutely a good thing and I would support it because in my experience as a vet, when you see a case of parvovirus, it can be quite dramatic. There is no drug for a cure and it can easily be transferred via clothes and shoes.
“It is quite a resistant virus and I would encourage pet owners to get their pets vaccinated.”
For information on the reduced cost vaccination, call 01254 814863.
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