Couple's warning to dog owners after deadly parvovirus kills three of their dogs in six days

Canine parvovirus is a common UK infectious disease which attacks cells in a dog's intestines and makes them weak and dehydrated Credit: BPM Media

A family is warning other dog owners after losing three of their five dogs to a deadly virus in less than a week.

Parvovirus took the lives of Chihuahuas Charlie and Shadow, and German Shepherd Faye in just a matter of six deadly days, despite them being up-to-date with vaccinations.

Robert and Michelle Newman from Meir, Stoke, said their fourth dog - Chihuaha Pomeranian Star - has also been fighting for his life after parvovirus symptoms. They want others to be aware of this devastating virus.

The couple say the house is much quieter without three of their beloved four-legged friends excitedly greeting them in the mornings.

Faye, who was just six-months-old, passed away on Monday, 17 July.

By the time 18-month-old Charlie then passed away on Thursday 20 July, it was confirmed that parvovirus had been the cause of their death.

All five of the couple's dogs were up-to-date with their parvovirus vaccinations.

Their fifth dog - chug Penny - has so far escaped the impact of the deadly virus.Robert has warned about how to spot the signs, including if a dog loses their appetite.

Star - is continuing to fight for its life after also displaying parvovirus symptoms. Credit: BPM Media

He said: “As soon as you see the first signs, as soon as they go off their food, take them to the vet, you’ve only got days. It’s that fast. If the dogs go off food, take them to the vets straight away or you’ll lose your dog.“This virus does not appear to take into account whether a dog is inoculated or not, it depends on the dog itself.

"The injections definitely do help but it appears to kill them either way.“We've always known about parvovirus - we had a dog who had it many years ago. But that was a different kettle of fish. She went off her food for a few days and then started being sick. We took her to the vets, they put her on a drip, we got her back, and she was fine. This time round, it has been so fast."

Robert and Michelle have thrown away all of their soft furnishings and bleached their entire home in a desperate attempt to try to eradicate the virus.Robert added: “We both stink of bleach. It’s constant, daily. For at least the next two weeks it’ll be the same routine to make sure we get rid of the virus."Me and my wife haven’t had time to stop and grieve. It's still happening everyday. Every single day we’re bleaching and scrubbing the house, running backwards and forwards to the PDSA, or tending to sick animals that are dying.

"We haven’t had time to stop and take stock as it's still happening. We're all playing catch-up, everybody’s tired, everyone’s techy. We want to grieve but there isn’t time.“We’re used to opening the front door to them all, all excited. Now, there’s no dogs there. You walk into the house and there’s nothing. It’s a strange experience not having them around. We don’t want any other pet owners going through what we've been through.”

What is parvovirus?Canine parvovirus is a common UK infectious disease which attacks cells in a dog's intestines and makes them weak and dehydrated.

If untreated, it has a 91% mortality rate.

Symptoms include:

  • vomiting

  • loss of appetite

  • fever

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