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!!!

Adopted Chompers

IT WORKS! 

Nominating a dog at the Salmon Animal Shelter for Mascot finds them their forever home.  We are two for two.  Only dogs who have called the Salmon Animal Shelter home for a significant numbers of months qualify.  Chompers was well-qualified.  She is was us for 1 1/2 years.

Looking for a Home!

Looking for a Home!

 

 

 

In January, 2014, Chompers was nominated as the Shelter Mascot.  The weblog story featuring Chompers stated:  “The last dog that was going to be nominated for mascot (Nubis) was adopted.  Chompers – you are hereby nominated to be Shelter mascot!”  We also questioned in the story if it was the name Chompers that had kept her at the Salmon Animal Shelter for almost one year.

Chompers in Camo

Chompers in Camo

 

Silly Chompers

Silly Chompers

In April, 2014, Chompers was transported to the Montana Animal Companion Network (MTCAN) as a guest at the home of Judy.  Every Saturday the MTCAN holds an event in front of the Hamilton, MT Walgreen’s.  On April 19, 2014, Chompers, renamed Chandra, was one of the featured dogs available for adoption.

I'm in Montana now!

I’m in Montana now!

On May 4, 2014, Chandra found her forever home.  She hit the jackpot big time and she certainly deserved it.  Not many dogs can keep their good nature when they are sheltered for 1 ½ years!  A retired couple adopted her and there is no more home shuffles or abandonments at a shelter in her future!  She is with her family all the time and they even have a grandson she can play with.  Woohoo!

Aaaahhh - to be LOVED!

Aaaahhh – to be LOVED!

So was it the name Chompers which delayed her finding a forever family?  We aren’t sure because she is back to being called Chompers.  Once the couple’s grandson  learned that her original name was Chompers, he INSISTED she was not a Chandra.

We doubt Chompers cares what she is called.  She is just happy to have her forever family that adores her.

Van/Iso

One of the things that the Humane Society has tried to accomplish over the past 5 years is to improve our shelter’s infrastructure so that we can better house animals while they are guests there.

 
Our first recent improvement was to enlarge the interior space, which meant having enough room so that cats can run free over a large area, and making it so that there is sufficient office space separate from any animal areas.  Prior to this the office had been partially occupied by cats held in stainless steel caging, and the cats rarely had a chance to roam.  With the completion of the addition in 2011 cats now have 3 rooms for roaming, and a separate area where those that are entering the shelter for the first time can be quarantined prior to joining the cats in the free roam area.

 
While this greatly improved conditions for both shelter staff and cats, we were still lacking in a good space in which to isolate any sick cats from the rest of the population. We did have a small, interior room with an exterior vent. But the problem was that the sink for the entire cat area was in the sick room and it was impossible to keep sick cats from interacting with well ones.
What to do, what to do?

 
In the summer of 2012 the Lemhi County Humane Society won a Toyota Sienna van in the Toyota 100 Cars For Good contest.  We received the van in the fall, and because we wanted to protect it from the elements, decided to build a parking structure in which to house the van.

Covered Parking

Covered Parking

At the back end of the structure was an enclosed area meant for a storage room.  What we did instead was insulate it, put in electricity, and make it into a totally separate cat isolation room. So, now we can remove sick cats completely from the shelter environment and house them in an outside facility.  Because upper respiratory infections are so common in cats, and because they spread so easily, the sick bay for cats has proved to be a real boon to our efforts to keep cats healthy while in our shelter.

Isolation Room

Isolation Room

 

lchswebblogcat in iso roomThe entire parking structure/cat isolation room was paid for by a generous donation from the estate of Harry and Marietta Shively. These are the parents of current board president, Cindy Phelps.  Both of her parents were avid animal lovers; her mother’s nick name when she was young was ‘Poochie’, because she was always saving some wayward dog.  It was a moniker that continued to describe Marietta her entire lifetime.

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

 

Active Dog Jinx Dishong

PETFINDER AD:  Very Active Dog Needs Very Active Owner

I am sooooo happy!

I am sooooo happy!

Lucy left the Shelter in 2010 as a cute cuddly puppy with lots of love to give.  She came back to the Shelter in 2012 as a 70 pound big dog with lots of love to give. 

You had to be able to brace yourself for the love.  Lucy expressed her love and enthusiasm for life by JUMPING!  Lucy was a recycle dog.  Sadly the recycle rate at the Salmon Animal Shelter runs at 30%.

Lucy’s picture was posted on PetFinder.  Her description:  a very active dog.  She would do best in a household where she receives plenty of EXERCISE and attention.

Into the picture comes Lynne – a very active woman who dotes on her animals.  She had recently lost a dog and she needed a companion dog for her 3-year old Rhodesian Ridgeback.  Drifter, was turning into an old dog without a play companion because he did not know how to play alone.  Lynne remembered seeing Lucy’s picture as a pup but at the time she did not need another dog.  But she did now.

Lynne called the Shelter and yes Lucy was still available.  (Please come and get her – just kidding.)  When Lynne arrived Lucy had just finished counter surfing and had eaten Mike’s (Shelter employee) piece of flaky crusted peach pie.  Eaten – well more like inhaled.  Mike still talks about how he was salivating for that piece of pie.

Yet Lynne willingly took her home on a trial basis to see how she fit in.

Bark Bark Bark

Bark Bark Bark

  All the way home the exuberant dog barked and barked.  Then she barked some more.

lchswebblog_jailedjinx

Jailbird

When Rick and Lynne returned Lucy to the Shelter, Shelter employee Mike’s face fell. 

The “name” Lucy had to go.  Rick and Lynne had come to complete the adoption paperwork for Jinx!  Lynne and Rick saw potential in this goofball of a dog.

dog_adopt_2012_jinx

Adoption Day

She is still a high energy dog but she and Drifter are known to wear each other out – either by racing in their 3-acre yard or on their mega-hikes.  She still barks and barks in the vehicle.  Some things just don’t change.

I'm Waiting...

I’m Waiting…

  However, her weight did.  She is now a whopping 90-pound dog which is her “healthy” weight.

Another change – Jinx is no longer underfoot when she hikes.  She has lost her fear of abandonment!

A silly girl on the hunt!

A goofball on the hunt

Hurry Up

Hurry Up

Sitting Pretty!

Sitting Pretty!

Drifter and Jinx are the best of pals.  It is expected they will watch many more sunsets together now that Jinx is in her “forever home.”

Best Forever Friends

Best of Pals