Search

Rabies alert from Canonbury vet sparked by imported puppy

16:50 06 December 2012

The chow chow pup that sparked the scare

The chow chow pup that sparked the scare

Archant

»A vet has sent out a warning after a couple who bought a chow chow puppy imported from Hungary were forced to undergo precautionary rabies treatment.

Russell Hatton, of Canonbury Veterinary Practice, Essex Road, Islington, has raised the alarm after a woman from Hackney brought the £900 puppy in for a check-up – and admitted it had given her a small bite.

Mr Hatton, a vet of 27 years, found the age of the puppy did not appear to match that on its passport, issued by Hungarian authorities.

The discrepancy meant that the dog – which the owners thought was four months old – was not old enough to have been legally vaccinated against rabies – a strict pet passport requirement as the deadly disease is still present in Europe.

Mr Hatton reported the puppy to DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and advised the woman – who did not wish to be identified – to seek medical attention along with her husband.

They ended up in hospital undergoing a gruelling round of post-exposure rabies injections, which they described as a “nightmare”.

Tests later revealed the puppy had been vaccinated but Trading Standards are now reviewing the case as there are still concerns about the age of the puppy, believed to be as young as eight weeks old when she arrived in the UK.

The couple travelled to Bristol to pick up the chow chow thinking the seller was a legitimate breeder. The woman told the Gazette: “He said that he owned the father and that a friend of his owned the mother.”

But once they had handed over the cash for the dog, the man gave them a pet passport printed in Hungarian. He then conceded that the puppy was from Hungary but insisted all the documentation was correct and the couple took the pet home as she appeared healthy.

However, on taking her to the vet, it was clear the pooch was far younger than they thought – and therefore below the three month minimum age for vaccinations recommended by DEFRA.

Although they now have confirmation the puppy was vaccinated, the couple are is still concerned about its age, welfare and the potential trauma of the importation process she had gone through.

And Mr Hatton said their case may be the tip of an iceberg. In the last year, he has seen a number of pets whose ages appear not to match their passports and he suspects there may be a burgeoning illegal trade in puppies and kittens.

He said: “These animals are flooding in. Just last week, I had a kitten in from Ukraine that was eight weeks old – yet it was supposed to be 16 weeks old.”

He strongly advised anyone buying a pet to get it checked over by a vet as soon as possible, to avoid the spread of rabies.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Police stopped the car along City Road.

A shotgun and several knives have been recovered by police after a car was stopped in Islington this afternoon.

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Zoe Ranson

A writer has spoken of her delight in being shortlisted for a prestigious new award which recognises the wide scope of unpublished novellas.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Clerkenwell has been subject to a dispersal order by Islington Police for 48 hours since Wednesday

Borough Police have placed Clerkenwell on a 48 hour lockdown using a Dispersal Order.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing

Council warn that new build programme could suffer from goverment extension of the Right to Buy scheme

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder