Saish Motheram
1 minute read
10 Feb 2020
11:12 am

Deadly parvovirus kills 26 dogs in Ladysmith

Saish Motheram

The Animal Anti-Cruelty League in Ladysmith has warned pet owners to ensure their dogs, especially young ones, are fully vaccinated.

Picture: iStock

A devastated Annamarie Koen from the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) said 26 stray dogs died at the kennels during the last month due to parvovirus, she told Ladysmith Gazette.

Parvovirus is a potentially fatal disease and puppies affected by it will most likely not survive without being hospitalised. Also known as cat flu, it is a virus that only affects unvaccinated puppies that have not been vaccinated three times with the 5-in-1 vaccination, from the age of about three weeks to 18 months.

The virus attacks fast-dividing cells in the body, attacking and killing the cells that make the gut lining. This causes severe intestinal inflammation, as the intestines are not able to digest food or water. This, in turn, causes nausea, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea.

The gut lining acts as a barrier between the rest of the body and the intestines. Once the barrier is destroyed, there is nothing stopping all the bugs, bacteria, toxins and viruses getting into the blood of the puppy and spreading all over the body.

Also read: Fatal Canine Parvovirus: symptoms to look out for

Parvovirus also attacks and kills the cells of the immune system. This means the puppy cannot protect itself against all the bacteria, toxins, and viruses that have entered the blood from the gut.

Annamarie warns that this virus spreads like wildfire and people need to get their puppies vaccinated when they are a few weeks old.

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