DOG owners in Worcestershire are being warned to be alert after an outbreak of a killer disease.

Canine Parvovirus (CPV) has already killed eight animals in the county this year and is highly infectious.

The illness can affect the intestines and cause vomiting, diarrhoea and weight loss or in its cardiac form can cause fatal heart attacks in puppies.

Regular vaccinations can prevent the virus attacking dogs and halt its spread through the region.

Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) senior dog warden, Pip Singleton, said: “People can’t afford the vaccines and then when their pets become ill with Parvo, which sees horrendous symptoms, they just dump their dogs.

“It sickens me to see the animals suffering and fighting for their lives on drips for the sake of a few quid which could prevent this.

“I have personally nursed a dog dying of Parvo and if you could see the trauma they go through, you wouldn’t think twice about getting the vaccine sorted.

“Instead the bill for care and treatment is being footed by the taxpayers of Worcestershire.”

WRS officers offer help and advice for people who have a pet and are struggling to meet the financial cost.

Pip added: “Don’t just dump your dog. We can help you before the situation gets critical and stop the unnecessary suffering of these loving, loyal creatures.”

Anyone who sees a dog in distress or needs help from a dog wardens should call 01905 822799.