Vets issue warning over need for vaccination as parvovirus cases rise in Northern Ireland

A dog called Honey is fighting for her life in Limavady after contracting the parvovirus.

It’s feared Honey is just the latest in a rising number of unvaccinated dogs contracting the highly contagious disease.

Nurse Emily Wilson from the Roe Valley Veterinary Clinic told UTV that Honey’s life is in the balance.

“Honey is very touch and go. She was admitted this morning, very collapsed, very dull. A lot of vomiting, a lot of diarrhoea.

"It’s a waiting game to see if there will be any improvement.”

The North West Animal Welfare Group believes the spiralling cost of the Parvo vaccine has led to a dramatic drop off in the number of dog owners getting their pets the jab.

Last week a pup named Oscar that the charity rescued from wandering in the streets of Limavady died from the virus.

Honey also displayed symptoms after being taken in by the group.

Mel McKee looks after many of the rescued dogs at her home, and she says unvaccinated dogs have little chance of surviving Parvovirus

“Dogs really suffer, they literally die from the inside out.”

The Parvo vaccine is highly effective. Puppies are given two doses in their first year, the first jab administered after 8 weeks.

Dogs need a booster every year, however, the price of the jabs has dramatically increased in recent months.

It is believed many owners feel they can no longer afford health care for their pets.

Mel McKee says charities like The North West Animal Welfare Group can help.

“We support low income families or people who are in crisis. Go to your local vet as well to see if you can set up a payment plan.

"People need to be in  tune with what their dog needs. At the end of the day it’s a wee life.”

Honey is in quarantine  at the Roe Valley Veterinary Clinic and is receiving around the clock treatment

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