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Canvey dog virus could be spreading across borough
WORRIED dog owners fear a mystery virus that is killing pets is spreading from Canvey and risks engulfing South Essex.
The concerns come a week after the Echo reported that the unknown disease had killed three dogs on the island with hundreds of other pooches taken sick. The virus usually begins with sickness, and can last as long as ten days. Severe cases of the bug have been known to kill dogs within 24 hours.
Simon Foxen’s 10-year-old Labrador Sweep died on Friday, October 19 and says he is sure the disease was the killer. He said Sweep was happy and healthy the week before his death but was struck down days after he first started showing signs of illness.
Mr Foxen, 48 from Station Road in Benfleet, said: “The family has been torn apart by Sweep’s death. He was a big dog and for him to just drop down dead is terrible. Our family is devastated by the loss.”
Mr Foxen said: “I came home on Friday to find him dead in the garden. It is like losing a member of the family and I want to appeal to dog owners to go to seek professional help should their dog show any symptoms. It doesn’t take long for this virus to take hold so you must act quickly.”
Loges Waran, Principal of the Benfleet Veterinary Service on Kents Hill Road North in Benfleet, said although he had not seen any specific cases he was aware of the illness and said it was something that should be treated seriously.
Mr Waran said: “Lots of worried dog owners have been calling in and they are correct to do so. We are aware of the illness and I want to advise all dog owners to keep a close eye on their pets at this time. Do everything as normal such as walks to the park but we do not want the illness spreading. If you are concerned or feel your dog may be the victim of the disease please visit a vet.”