Sheffield woman's parvovirus plea as she endures heartache of lost pet

Helen Glades and Coco, who pulled through after a parvovirus battle
Helen Glades and Coco, who pulled through after a parvovirus battle
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A Sheffield woman who lost one dog to parvovirus, which left her other animal fighting for life, has issued an urgent plea for owners to update their animals' vaccinations.

Helen Glades lost 15-month old shih tzu Bella to the disease last month, and her other dog, two-year-old shih tzu Coco, has just gotten over parvovirus.

Round-the-clock care, which included syringe feeding him liquids and fluids, allowed Coco to pull through.

It it wasn't for my friend's husband, and my daughter, she wouldn't be her," Ms Glades said.

Now, Ms Glades wants to get the vaccination word spread.

Her call comes on the back of a huge rise in the disease in 2017.
She said losing Bella was 'absolutely horrendous' for her and children Lewis, 24, Courtney, 18, and six-year-old Georgia.

"They're not just dogs, they're family," she said of her pets.

"I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

"We are absolutely heartbroken."

She is urging dog owners to keep their animals' vaccinations up to date.

Shortly after Bella's death, Ms Glades, 44, said she received an email from her vets reminding her that the animal's booster injections were due soon.

After informing the vets of the dog's death, Ms Glades was told that there was a 'particularly bad' strain of parvovirus in South Yorkshire at the moment.

The viral disease attacks dogs' intestinal tracts, and the white blood cells.

Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea.

Parvovirus is highly contagious, and is commonly contacted by urban dogs.

Ms Glades questioned how her dogs would have been infected.

"My dogs don't roam," she said.

PDSA vet Rob Haselgrove said he recommended dogs be given their booster to fight a range of diseases yearly.

He said dogs should be vaccinated for parvovirus once every two or three years.

"We get a lot of people who vaccinate their dogs and think they are right for life," Dr Haselgrove said.

"It's a constant battle to try and get the message out there."

Parvovirus, Dr Haselgrove said, traditionally spiked in the warmer weather, when more dogs were out in parks and walking with their owners.

Dr Haselgrove said he treated 'about 40 or 50' cases every year in Sheffield. About half the cases are fatal.

Ms Glades said losing Bella to parvovirus was her first brush with the disease.

"And I hope this will be my last," she said.

She said she won't get a companion for Coco.

"I can't cope with the heartbreak," Ms Glades said.