Parvovirus warning after eight-week-old puppy dies

SAD ENDING: Eight-week-old Ruby died of parvovirus after being rescued.
SAD ENDING: Eight-week-old Ruby died of parvovirus after being rescued.

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, Red Collar Rescue met the officers in Monto to take care of the injured puppy.

Red Collar Rescue adoptions co-ordinator Chris Farnham said the puppy died early this morning 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.

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

"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.”

A spokesperson for Monto Veterinary Surgery said they 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 spokesperson 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 is the only way of stopping it from spreading.

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

"The vaccine takes up to two weeks to reach effective levels of immunity so during this period puppies should be limited in contact to other dogs and public environments. After the initial series of puppy vaccinations, all adult dogs require a yearly booster vaccination.

"If your dog has never been vaccinated against parvovirus, is no longer current with vaccination or shows any of the symptoms listed above, please contact us at the clinic immediately to arrange a vaccination or treatment program for your dog.”

Topics:  animal cruelty police investigation puppy vaccinations

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