VETS have confirmed a further seven dogs are being treated for canine hepatitis.

Four animals have already died following an outbreak of adenovirus in the Borders.

The acute liver infection is highly contagious, causing inflammation and swelling of the liver, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

If a dog's vaccinations are up-to-date it will be guarded against the canine adenovirus.

But owners whose pet's vaccines are lapsed should visit their local practice as soon as possible.

David Knight, from Galedin Vets, told us: "In the current outbreak four dogs have died and seven more are under treatment.

"If a dog is fully vaccinated and up to date then there is no need for concern, but if a dog’s vaccination has lapsed or it has never been vaccinated, then we would recommend making an appointment at their local vet to have this done."

Canine hepatitis has become rare in the UK due to vaccination programmes.

But outbreaks can prove deadly.

Mr Knight added: " This is the first case I have seen in my 23 years as a vet.

"The pathologist who made the diagnosis on post mortem samples, said that this was the first case she had seen in the last ten years.

"Vaccination is the only protection and is very effective hence the current rarity of the disease.

"However, as in human and veterinary fields, as diseases become rare, there is complacency and vaccination levels drop off across the population allowing diseases like this to resurface."

Once a dog is infected with canine hepatitis there is a four-to-seven day incubation period before symptoms begin to show.

Galedin Vets have branches in Galashiels, Kelso, Duns, Eyemouth, Coldstream and Berwick.