A parvovirus outbreak among dogs in Tayside has worsened – with one vet practice seeing a fourfold rise in cases over the past fortnight.
Wallace Vets, based in Broughty Ferry, says one in 10 parvovirus cases in dogs is proving to be fatal.
The firm says it is seeing an average of more than four cases every day – compared to just one case a day a couple of weeks ago when the outbreak was first reported.
There is also concern that parvovirus is being detected in more inland areas of Angus, such as Forfar and Kirriemuir, along with parts of Fife like Tayport and Newport.
Parvovirus is a highly contagious illness that can be spread from dog to dog through direct or indirect contact with their faeces.
It can be life-threatening, particularly to puppies, older dogs and those with underlying health conditions.
Worst areas for parvovirus in Tayside revealed by vet practice
Wallace Vets says a third of cases it has seen have come from the DD5 postcode, which includes Monifieth alongside Broughty Ferry and Barnhill.
The second-worst area for cases is the DD4 area, which covers neighbourhoods like Stobswell, Craigie, Pitkerro, Douglas, Fintry and Whitfield, accounting for 19% of cases.
A further 19% of cases have come from dogs living in Carnoustie.
Wallace Vets says 16% of cases have come from Arbroath.
The rest of the cases have come from elsewhere in the region.
A spokesman for Wallace Vets said: “It is an increasing issue at the moment.
“Whereas we were previously seeing, on average, around one case per day, over the last two weeks we’ve been seeing an average of 4.5 cases per day.
“Of those we’re seeing from the DD5 postcode area, 21% are from Monifieth, 63% are from Barnhill/Broughty Ferry and the rest are from outlying areas, such as Wellbank and Kingennie.
“One in four of those testing positive have required to be hospitalised.
“One in 10 of those testing positive have sadly passed away.
Majority of dogs who die from parvovirus are unvaccinated
“An increasing concern is the amount of dog faeces not being picked up by people walking their dogs.
“This is a widespread problem across Dundee and Angus in urban and rural areas, which could be a main contributor to the spread.”
The practice is also encouraging dog owners to ensure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date.
The spokesman added: “Our records show that the overwhelming majority of pets who have sadly passed away due to parvovirus have been unvaccinated.
“But it’s worth highlighting that vaccinated dogs are not immune and can become ill and spread the virus, and it can affect vaccinated dogs with underlying health issues quite seriously.”
Symptoms of parvovirus can include diarrhoea, vomiting, low energy, abdominal pain and reduced appetite.