A few days back one of the kiddos I work with was very excited to have gotten a new puppy, so out of my pocket I pulled a biscuit!
“Here.” I said, as I pulled the biscuit from my jeans and gave it to him.
A huge surprised look came over this kiddo’s face. “Sawee, as only he pronounces my name, wher’d ou get this?” he asked.
“Well, I said, story teller that I am with the kids, Chance & Steeler told me you might be getting a new puppy and they asked me to bring this to school for you.”
His eyes opened even wider. “Weally?” he asked.
Everyone I work with knows Chance & Steeler very well and most know I have been known to find a pocket full of biscuits in my jacket or pants on occasion. Such a cheap thing to delight a child’s face!
“Before you give this to your Puppy, I said, you have to ask your mommy. Don’t just give it to the puppy without asking.”
“Bu ey?” he questioned. His speech for the words ‘but why’ that only those who love him will understand.
“Because some puppies can get sick when they eat a new food.” I said. Then I went on to give an example of his classmate that had allergies.
“My pubby is ick aweady.” he said.
“Really?” I asked. Of course I am talking to a four year old who could have given the dog his hot dog at dinner and the dog threw it back up. That classifies as really, really, sick to a four year old! “Well then, I replied, even more reason to make sure you ask Mommy or Daddy before you give the puppy this biscuit.”
“Otay.” He said. “I pud it in my ubby.”
“Yes, keep it in your cubby until you go home.” I replied.
I hung around until mom came to pick him up so I could tell her about the biscuit.
Sure enough the puppy was sick, severely sick with the parvo viris .
Parvoviral Enteritis is a severe contagious infection that attacks unprotected puppies and dogs whose immune system might be compromised. You will find this virus in crowed kennels or parks where dogs congregate or anywhere in the environment where an infected dog leaves its feces. This virus has been around since the 1970’s and lasts in the environment for several years and because it is air borne, humans can carry this virus to their home on their clothing and shoes.
All who read this now will be brought back to the day when I was somewhat a fanatic when Abby had her puppies, and will understand now why I turned people away from seeing them, and why I was very specific to make sure everyone who entered the house had fresh clean clothes on and left their shoes at the door before entering the house.
Go ahead and ask, how did I know they darned clean clothes? Yep, you got it, I smelled them and gave them the once over. I had never seen so many brand spankin’ new white socks in all my life at one time!
This virus is also why your vet will strongly suggest that you NOT take your puppy out in public until it is safe to do so after all inoculations are given!
With parvo you may see bloody diarrhea (often very foul smelling), vomiting, depression, fever, lack of appetite. If you see these symptoms you have a very sick dog that needs immediate care. Many pups die because treatment is so expensive and lengthy.
Before I get any further into a parvo tangent let me tell you of the local kennel who adopted out dogs with this virus. This pup came from the Danville SPCA. I mention this very strongly because not only did the pups that were adopted out have this virus , but everyone that walked into this kennel to look at the animals had the potential to carry it home on their clothing or shoes!
If you have a young pup that is not fully vaccinated or you have an older dog with a compromised immune system be careful who you let into the home! If you are a dog trainer or run a training class for puppies be careful and be sure to ask your class if they know of anyone who recently adopted from this kennel. Obviously if you run a training class all of the puppies you train will have had inoculations against this, however it does not mean that it is not being carried to the area where you train which can harm others who may pass through.
Here is a site that will tell you about this virus and how to clean areas where an infected pet has been. http://www.marvistavet.com/html/canine_parvovirus.html
This morning, I talked to the Danville SPCA and asked about the problem that this parent spoke about specifically because I do belong to a dog club and they do have puppies in for training. The lady at the SPCA said they are doing everything to disinfect the areas with bleach, they are warning people not to adopt at this time. They are observing all the animals for illness, and they have signs up warning you that you are entering at your own risk. As well there is a bucket of insecticide to dip your feet in should you decide to enter. I strongly advise against this and to let them complete the job of disinfecting and observation of all the animals in their care before having to deal with the public. At this time they are forced to stay open because the headquarters in Philly are telling them to, though they stated they would rather shut down and get things under control first.
If you have adopted from there or are thinking of adopting from there it is best to call first and see if they are still giving warnings. 570-275-0340.