A DOG owner who lost her beloved eight-month-old puppy to parvovirus has issued a stark warning to fellow pet lovers.

Susan Brown spoke after her lurcher Elsie died from the disease despite all essential checks and vaccinations.

Parvovirus is a highly infectious disease that can be fatal, attacking cells in a dog’s intestines and stopping them from being able to absorb vital nutrients.

Elsie - who was with the family since she was eight weeks old - completely lost her appetite, began being sick and suffering with severe diarrhoea after contracting the virus.

After taking advice from Riverside Vets, Susan took Elsie to Medivet, Southend, who broke the diagnosis to the family.

Elsie spent two nights before the family made the difficult decision to let her go, to avoid any pain.

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Susan, 57, from Daws Heath, says she would have done anything to save Elsie, adding: “It was so awful to watch her go from being so full of life, she lost nine kilograms in the space of a day.

“Even with the anti-sickness vaccines which the vets gave her she continued to be sick, the virus eats away the intestines and is probably the most horrific way for a dog to die.

“Medivet gave the option of keeping her in for two weeks, but there was no guarantee they’d be able to help her. I couldn’t bear to see her like it, so made the difficult decision to say our goodbyes.”


It is not known where Elsie caught parvovirus - which is spread by direct dog contact and contact with contaminated poo - although her regular walks were at Little Havens Nature Reserve and West Wood, Hadleigh.

Susan said: “This is just something we were never expecting, she was such a young healthy dog and had all her vaccines, but she still died from the virus.

“The only thing the vets could possibly put it down to is a lot more people have got dogs during lockdown and would’ve been out walking them. Or with some vets closing through the first lockdown, it could be booster jabs weren’t considered an emergency.

“If people dispose of their dog poo properly it won’t affect another dog or human. You should also always check their vaccine certificates and you could even get a blood test done to make sure your dog isn’t a carrier.”