A leading animal campaigner has warned that the deadly parvo may spread quickly if south London residents waste time in vaccinating their dogs.
Former top model Celia Hammond, who runs an animal clinic in Lewisham Way, Lewisham, said she was worried about parvo spreading between dogs in the community. The virus leads to severe diarrhoea and vomiting and is often fatal for puppies. She said: ‘It's a horrible disease and very life-threatening. They get sicker and sicker and then they die.’
After years of vaccination, the disease had become rare. However the Lewisham Way clinic recently received a family of puppies all suffering from it. When staff alerted vets, they were told about several other cases.
Ms Hammond suspected the disease had come from puppy farms in Wales and Ireland and said its increase was also due to people not getting their dogs vaccinated.
The pets are meant to be vaccinated at eight and 10 weeks, then have yearly boosters. Ms Hammond said: ‘Puppies should not go on the ground outside before they are vaccinated. We have got to try to stop this infectious disease taking hold.There is a problem in South-east London and no one has picked up on it yet.’
The parvo-infected puppies were immediately isolated when they came into the animal trust's base and several have since died.
Ms Hammond urged dog-owners to get their pets vaccinated as a matter of urgency.