Killer virus claims puppy

Young dog saved from at­tack­ers couldn’t fight off deadly par­vovirus

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Philippe Co­querand­

IN A tragic twist, an eight-week-old puppy res­cued from the hands of at­tack­ers has died from par­vovirus.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing a call from two po­lice of­fi­cers in a cen­tral Queens­land town about a puppy be­ing at­tacked on July 10, Red Col­lar Res­cue met the of­fi­cers in Monto to take care of the in­jured dog.

Red Col­lar Res­cue adop­tions co-or­di­na­tor Chris Farn­ham said the puppy died early Mon­day morn­ing, July 17, due to ca­nine par­vovirus.

Ms Farn­ham said the puppy was named Ruby by one of the of­fi­cers be­cause she was a “lit­tle gem”.

She tested pos­i­tive for par­vovirus, a highly con­ta­gious virus that at­tacks an­i­mal in­testines.

“It de­stroys the cells and (it would) feel like she’s be­ing eaten from the in­side and out – it’s as though you’re cor­rod­ing,” Ms Farn­ham said.

“All of this could’ve been pre­vented had the own­ers vac­ci­nated their puppy and it’s dis­ap­point­ing that the mes­sage hasn’t reached ev­ery­one.”

The fos­ter home and car used to trans­port Ruby will now need to be de­con­tam­i­nated.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Monto Ve­teri­nary Surgery said the clinic had seen a lot of dogs di­ag­nosed with ca­nine par­vovirus.

“The dis­ease killed over 50 dogs in only a two-month pe­riod (last year).

“Par­vovirus is a highly con­ta­gious, deadly dis­ease that at­tacks the in­testi­nal tract and heart of dogs and un­for­tu­nately over 80% of dogs that con­tracted the dis­ease last year were fa­tal,” the rep­re­sen­ta­tive said.

“Par­vovirus is spread in the fae­ces and vomit of in­fected dogs and is par­tic­u­larly hardy, re­main­ing in the en­vi­ron­ment for up to a year. It is also eas­ily trans­mit­ted via the hair or feet of in­fected dogs, con­tam­i­nated shoes, clothes, in the soil or via car tyres.”

Preven­tion was the only way of stop­ping par­vovirus dis­ease from spread­ing, the rep­re­sen­ta­tive said.

“Pup­pies re­ceive a par­vovirus vac­ci­na­tion as part of their vac­cine regime, which should com­mence at six to eight weeks of age.”

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