VETS have issued a warning to dog owners after the outbreak of a deadly disease in South Yorkshire.

Experts are warning dog owners that their pets may not be protected from the parvovirus disease - even if they have already been vaccinated.

The warning follows an increase in reported parvovirus cases across the county.

Affected dogs generally start with vomiting, rapidly followed by severe bloody diarrhoea with anorexia, leading to weakness and dehydration followed by collapse and in many cases death.

Experts say that early treatment, especially with immune antibodies, is extremely important.

Tony Duffy of Abbey Vets said: “While the vaccination that puppies have already had should be effective, we are recommending a further injection to be given at 16 weeks of age or as soon as possible if a puppy is now older.

“Vaccination has been and is still very effective. However at this time because of the increased incidence of parvovirus, maternal antibodies in puppies may well be higher than normal, preventing the initial vaccine from being fully effective.

“We would also advise people to take extra precautions to keep their puppy away from areas where dogs congregate, such as parks, until a week after the extra injection."

Mr Duffy added that adult dogs that had had their first annual booster and were up to date with vaccination would not need the additional parvo vaccination.