Killer virus claims puppy
Young dog saved from attackers couldn’t fight off deadly parvovirus
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.”