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Parvovirus: another warning

DOG owners are being urged to vaccinate their dogs against the deadly parvovirus after another outbreak of the disease in Hertfordshire.

The warning comes after four dogs died of the virus in Hitchin and follows outbreaks of the disease in East Anglia, Staffordshire and Scotland earlier in the summer.

Due to high levels of vaccination following an epidemic in the 1970s the disease had become extremely rare. However following a spate of recent dog deaths across the country, and now in Hertfordshire, experts fear that levels of vaccinations are slipping.

Vets in St Albans are now urging owners to check the vaccination status of their dogs on the advice of the National Office of Animal Welfare (Noah).

Gail Hornby, a nurse at Animalism in St. Stephens Hill, said the surgery is making owners aware of the issue, but added the problem may lie with people who do not bother to bring their dog to see a vet. She said: "When people come in with puppies we are making them very aware of the vaccinations. We are warning all of our clients of the severity of the condition."