Is this a bad sign?

ritaweedaJanuary 20, 2011

We've been wanting to adopt a pup and found some adorable mixed Shepherd/Retrievers at a local shelter online. I contacted them last week and they were in the process of being evaluated/vaccinated/dewormed, etc. They said we should be able to see them today. I got an email today that one of the pups tested positive for Parvo. They are now in quarantine. Although I'm grateful that they are up-front about it and are keeping the pups until they are over this, is this a danger signal that maybe we should avoid this shelter? I know that Parvo is very contagious and hard to manage. And these pups were found abandoned in the woods somewhere, so I'm sure they contracted the virus before they got them. I do question the fact that they were on the verge of adopting out the pups before they were completely free and clear of disease, though. So am I judging too harshly on this?

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spedigrees z4VT

Puppies are not safe from contracting parvo until they have had their second round of innoculations, which if memory serves, is around 12 weeks of age. These poor babies were subjected to stress and who knows what after being abandoned in the woods. I'd highly doubt they had received even a first series of puppy shots. It is not surprising that one would contract an illness as a result. This shelter has done everything right IMO. They rescued the pups, tested and vaccinated & dewormed them. When one tested positive they quarantined them all. I'm not sure what more you think this shelter could have done.

Parvovirus is a threat to any puppy who has not had a full set of innoculations. Even puppies raised in a good home and sold to the same are in danger of infection during this vulnerable phase of their life. In all animal shelters this disease poses a significant danger to unvaccinated dogs and puppies in particular.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 4:00PM
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Fori is not pleased

I just got a shelter puppy and it sounds like your shelter is doing the responsible thing. Maybe they got a little ahead of themselves by advertising the puppies before they received a clean bill of health, but that seems to be the only issue I'd have with them.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 4:21PM
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ritaweeda

I don't doubt that the shelter didn't do all it could do, as I stated previously, these pups probably got the virus before they acquired them. I guess my main questioning of the situation is, wouldn't it be wise not to promote new animals until they are tested and treated, and completely vaccinated for dangerous diseases? Since it's been a few years since we've had a dog, I guess I assumed that since they said they had vaccinated, vetted the pups they were clear and healthy. We always got the shots yearly for our dog but really didn't know what all the shots were for and also didn't realize (or just don't remember) that some diseases require a series of shots.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 4:33PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Puppies are typically sold by breeders and adopted by shelters when they are 8-10 weeks old. At this age they have received only their first set of parvovirus vaccinations and new owners are usually advised not to expose their puppies to other dogs or areas where other dogs congregate.

Shelters are an area where new dogs are coming in from many sources and thus are a likely source for pups to contract parvo no matter how careful the staff are or how thoroughly they disinfect the kennels with chlorine bleach. No one, not even a vet, can tell if a pup is in the early stages of incubation of parvo. Better for the pups that the shelter adopt them out into homes where the risk is lower than keep them until after a full series of shots are given and the pups have had time to develop antibodies.

If you wish to avoid guarding a puppy against this virus and the chance parvo will emerge, you could always adopt an older fully vaccinated dog. With cute babies unfortunately come vulnerabilities & dangers to guard against, no matter how excellent the quality of the shelter or breeder who adopts them out.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 5:26PM
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live_wire_oak

Shelters are in the business of saving as many as possible. It's a numbers game. And the quicker you can get an animal advertised, the quicker you can get potential adopters to start bonding and want to adopt. The shelter advertised them quickly because there is a very small window of opportunity to actually get them adopted. Puppies are far more desirable than adult dogs to most adopters, and people want the younger ones, not the teenage ones. Plenty of local shelters here put animals on Petfinders right at intake, with the notation that of the date they'll be available to adopt. If they had waited to advertise them until after their quarrantine for Parvo, then they'd be in an older demographic and more difficult to adopt. They're banking on someone falling in love with them now and being able to wait out the quarrantine.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 11:14AM
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ritaweeda

You're right on the money with wanting folks to fall in love with them right off, our hearts are broken and we haven't even met the dogs yet. I hope they make it.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 3:21PM
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calliope

There is hardly any way to get around in-taking an animal with a communicable disease when you rescue. Sounds to me like they are doing the responsible thing and the best they can under the circumstances.

The first cat I adopted from our local shelter looked healthy and I was there when they brought her in in a cardboard box. I heard about her from a relative of the ladies who took her to the shelter and was there waiting for her. She stayed the necessary amount of days, and I got her as soon as they could release her. I took her immediately to the vet on the way home, because I didn't like the way she looked and she was tested for FLV when the vet examined her and was positive.

The shelters weren't testing for that then, and they gave me the option of 'exchanging' her for another kitten. I chose to keep her and I had her for twenty more years and she reverted to a negative test. I pushed for testing of all feline intakes then and eventually it happened.

I guess what I am saying is that is part of the process with rescue animals. They are, for the most part, an under-vetted population and some with baggage, but oh ........so..worth it when it works out.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 4:25PM
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mazer415

Parvo outbreaks can occur in the best and cleanest of places. Guide dogs for the blind - my neighbors just lost 5 puppies to Parvo...last outbreak was about 25 years ago...Be thankful they caught it and are willing to shell out the expense to treat the dogs, I hope they recover quickly and completely

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 3:07AM
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