Parvo Puppies

PARVO & PUPPIES

The “P” Word One of the most exciting, yet worrisome, events at any shelter is the appearance of puppies as shelter residents. While our shelter loves having them, and we rarely have any problem finding homes for them, puppies are a double edged sword. This spring we received a litter of gorgeous Heeler/Aussie mix puppies. Because they were such wonderful dogs folks immediately started clamoring for a PUPPY!

ADORABLE PUPPIES!!

ADORABLE PUPPIES!!

While we wanted the pups to get adopted and go home with their new families as quickly as possible, our first concern was for the health of the pups. The person who brought them to us had said that the mother did not nurse them for very long and that she had been giving them milk replacer since about 2 weeks of age. Unfortunately, this was a red flag indicating that the pups had probably not gotten a lot of antibodies from their mom, which meant that they would be prone to disease, especially to attack by the parvo virus.

Parvo is one of the most common serious dog disease problems encountered in any animal shelter – and the most worrisome for the owner of any new puppy. The parvo virus can live in the environment for up to a year. It causes an acute, highly contagious disease that most often occurs in puppies 6 to 20 weeks of age. The virus has a tendency to attack rapidly-reproducing cells such as those lining the gastrointestinal tract, which causes the cells of the tract to die and sluff off, producing a foul smelling diarrhea and the inability of the puppy to absorb food or water. Young pups become dehydrated very quickly.   If proper veterinary care is not immediately begun- which typically involves putting in an IV and giving the puppy fluids – puppies can die.

Starting at 6-8 weeks puppies can receive the first of three vaccinations to protect against parvo, but puppies aren’t fully protected against the disease until after they’ve received their 3rd injection, anywhere from 10-16 weeks of age. We tend to vaccinate early in the shelter environment so that the third vaccine is given when the puppies are 14 weeks of age.

This particular litter of pups DID receive their initial vaccination upon arrival at the shelter, but it proved to be too little, too late. Within the first 6 days of arrival all seven of the puppies began to show signs of the virus, meaning that these pups had been exposed prior to arrival at our shelter, since the virus must first enter the gut of a puppy and then requires an additional 3-7 days for the disease to cause symptoms. Once we observed early signs of the disease – listlessness, not drinking water – all seven of the pups were immediately started on IV fluids and other supportive treatment.

There are various strains of the parvo virus and this particular strain proved to be especially virulent. The pups would appear better and then would sink back into the throes of the disease. This continued over the course of a week, at the end of which only 3 of the pups survived.

Parvo disease is spread from dog to dog mainly through exposure to contaminated feces. It is also spread through contract with contaminated objects which can include hands, clothing, food and water dishes, toys and bedding  Insect and rodents can also provide a means for disease spread. Parvo must be treated by a veterinarian! Parvo can have a fairly high mortality rate in puppies – up to 48% – despite early or aggressive therapy. There is no specific cure, so treatment consists of providing supportive care so the body can produce enough antibodies of its own to neutralize the virus. Puppies that survive for 3-4 days generally have a good chance of making a full recovery within a week, depending on the virulence of the strain that is infecting the puppy.

Unfortunately, at shelters, animals with parvo may be adopted out while they are incubating the disease, and then become ill a few days later in their new home. New owners often don’t know what to look for and sometimes don’t get the animal to a veterinarian in a timely manner. Although the puppies in this particular litter had not gone to their new homes yet they had been adopted.  Seven puppies were sick and seven adoptors were hoping their puppies would pull through.  It was an agonizing time for all.

Berta is one of the puppies from this litter that pulled through. She was a very sick little girl who spent a week at the veterinarian struggling for her life; but the struggle paid off.

Survived Parvo!

Survived Parvo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now she is living the dream life of any shelter dog. She has a family that loves her and 2 canine and 1 feline companions.

She has a basket filled with toys.  bertaparvo1basket

So what is in Berta’s future?

Having play dates.

Play Date

Play Date

Teaching Oso that he can play!bertaparvoosoplay1 He didn’t know how to play until Berta came into his life.

Play Oso Play

Play Oso Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nap time on a soft bed with a little big brother.

Nap Time

Nap Time

 

Living life to the fullest!!!

Is It the Name?

Is It the Name?

It’s one of those days Shelter employees dread.  Coming to work on a Sunday in the cold of a January morning and finding a dog left overnight.  There was the protection of a dog house and straw provided by the Shelter.  But she was left and someone drove off.  If it is tough on the Shelter employee – it must be tough on the dog.  However, it is better than being abandoned in a taped box in a potato cellar…

Chompers in Camo

Chompers in Camo

The 4-year old brindle pit bull was left at the Shelter on 1/20/2013.  This was not Chompers first stay at the Salmon Animal Shelter.  In 2011, Chompers called the Shelter home.  She was adopted and then recycled two years later.  She is part of the 30% recycle rate mentioned in the goofball dog’s story.  Since Salmon is a small town it was a known fact Chompers was passed from owner to owner.  Maybe she didn’t fit the stereotype of a TOUGH pit bull so she ended back at the Shelter?  Whatever the reason almost a year has passed and Chompers is still calling the Shelter home.

Many dogs cannot handle the stresses of Shelter life.  No person to call their own.  A Shelter dog for the most part is kenneled.  The Salmon Shelter dogs do have several bark parks to hang in plus get a delightful daily walk.

Chompers n Buddies

Chompers n Buddies

 

Chompers loves to go and gets along with all the newcomers.  During the rest of the day she hangs out with the ever revolving changing canine friends.  They come in and then they leave when they are so lucky as to find their families.

Fashionable Coat

Fashionable Coat

Chompers doesn’t appear too dismayed that no one has adopted her.  She gets along with the dogs, the staff, the volunteers and visitors.  She jumps in the van ready for a ride for her walk.  She runs from her bark park to the kennel in the late afternoon excitedly looking forward to her dinner – dog food,  rice and some sort of meat broth.  And then she spends the night quietly waiting for the next day to start.  Chompers has gone through the four seasons at the Shelter.  She arrived in the cold of January, 2013, and here it is January, 2014.

This is where I was left in Jan/2013 - w/o coat.

This is where I was left in Jan/2013 – w/o coat.

Does Chompers need a new name?  Is the name Chompers scaring off her potential family?   It is hard to say.  For now she patiently waits.

One Year Later!

One Year Later!

 

The now 5-year old brindle pit bull is a good natured dog.  Someone forgot to tell her she is TOUGH.  She is a lover – except when it comes to cats.

Looking for a Home!

Looking for a Home!

Perhaps we need to nominate Chompers as the Shelter Mascot.  The last dog that was going to be nominated for mascot (Nubis) was adopted.

Chompers – you are hereby nominated to be Shelter mascot!  You sure know how to have fun!

Silly Chompers

Silly Chompers

 

Titan Needs YOUR Help!

Titan’s owners are in a dire predicament. Recently they learned their adopted big dog with a big heart was given a big scary word.  Hyperadrenocorticism.  They want Titan to be treated.  How many of us would take a 185-pound dog?  They did.  Now they want their big guy to be comfortable and continue to live the good life.  But daily doses of medicine…  Money only stretches so far.

Titan Needs Daily Medicine

When the Lemhi County Humane Society heard Titan’s “tail” the first thought was we want to help Titan and his family.  The LCHS is looking for grants but that takes time.  In the meantime, we are turning to you.  That LCHS has made major accomplishments thanks to its generous supporters – you!  Let’s give Titan one more chapter in his success story.  If you can help pay for Titan’s meds, we promise 100% of your donations for Titan’s medical fund will go to fund  Titan’s blood tests and meds.

Titan185-pound guy that came from a Montana Shelter for months.  He stayed awhile at our Shelter and about 1 year ago found his forever home with a loving family!  A happy ending.  YES.  But diseases have a way of changing things.
The disease is commonly known as Cushing’s disease:  a condition that results when the body produces too much of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is produced and stored by the adrenals, two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. A normal amount of cortisol is good.  It helps the body adapt in times of stress; helps regulate proper body weight, tissue structure, skin condition, and other features of good health.
Cushing’s disease typically occurs in middle-aged to older dogs. The disease develops slowly and the early signs are not always noticed. Symptoms in dogs include:   increased thirst; increased urination; increased appetite; reduced activity; excessive panting; enlargement of the abdomen, resulting in a “pot-bellied” appearance
The disease usually can be managed with medications.  It is important for regular vet visits and blood tests.  Monitoring the blood helps determine the right dose, which may need to be adjusted periodically.”
Dogs with the disease can live a good life if they are monitored closely by their veterinarian.  The owner must be diligent about bringing the dog in for blood work and giving the medication as directed.

Loveable Titan

Donations can be made in the following ways:  Click on the PayPal account button; mail a check to PO Box 1918, Salmon, ID  83467; or drop a TITAN check off at R&W or the Shelter.
Look for Titan updates here on website or FACEBOOK page.  Thank you!