(pets helped in 2011: 256)
Signs of parvo-virus infection once meant immediate and absolute euthanasia for puppies and dogs at the city shelter. The city now calls in Austin Pets Alive and gives a same day deadline to pick up the puppies and start treatment. The number of puppies we can say yes to when we get the call is directly related to the donations we have already acquired for parvo care.
APA treats the highly contagious pets in an isolated ward. The clinic treated 256 dogs in 2011, with an impressive 88% survival rate (most puppies arrive well after the recommended start time for treatment).
The disease takes about a week to treat and once they are free of parvo, these amazing pups go on to lead normal, healthy lives and are highly adoptable! Watching these puppies go from being on death’s door to playing and eating again is what keeps our volunteers coming back to help treat them.
The average cost of treatment is $250 per puppy. We rely solely on donated supplies and funds to care for these little souls. If we don’t have funds, we can’t say yes when Austin Animal Center calls us. Please help us by donating!
What is parvo?
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious, life-threatening virus that infects rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. The virus is highly resistant and can survive for over a year, being transmitted primarily through contact with an infected dog’s feces. Anyone who comes into contact with the infected dog’s feces (a trace on the bottom of someone’s shoe as they walk along an outdoor trail, for instance) can pass the virus on to other dogs. Symptoms of parvovirus are lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. All of these can lead to life-threatening dehydration.
How can parvo be prevented?
Vaccinate! Young puppies are the most susceptible to parvo. Puppies can be given a 5-in-1 vaccine called DHLPP (which protects the puppy from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and parainfluenza) at their local vet. The first vaccine can be given at 6-8 weeks of age, with boosters given at 4-week intervals as a series of three shots. The vaccination program cannot be complete before 4 months of age. Until the program is complete, puppies should stay away from potentially infected areas like public ground (where other dogs have walked and fecal matter may be present), dog parks, and sidewalks.