JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) – A highly contagious virus is making puppies sick around southern Indiana.
Parvo Virus cases are increasing around Clark County. The Southern Indiana Animal Rescue is struggling to keep up after 12 of the puppies they’ve taken in have been diagnosed with the virus.
“You almost think it’s a death sentence because you don’t know if you caught it in time,” said Elizabeth Starck, a foster for Southern Indiana Animal Rescue. Starck also serves as the treasury for the rescue. “So I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights the last week and a half.”
Parvo Virus hit the puppies Elizabeth Starck has been fostering quickly, including 10-week-old Black Boston Terrier Lily.
“She was kind of acting funny,” Starck said. “She wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t play and they’re normally wild and crazy puppies and about dinner time, I noticed she wouldn’t eat again and started to throw up.”
Lily and Rocky were with Southern Indiana Animal Rescue, and have been treated and released from veterinary care after beating Parvo. The rescue still has nine puppies being treated right now by veterinarians. It’s a serious virus and a scary situation.
“One has unfortunately passed away,” Starck said. “She only weighed two pounds and it’s, it’s a lot of tears. Every one of them is your baby and you really, really go through it every time.”
Veterinarian Andrea Crum at Eastside Animal Hospital in Jeffersonville said Parvo Virus can show up in even the cleanest homes, contracted through contact with fecal matter and mainly in puppies.
“We see several cases of Parvo Virus each year,” Crum said.
And Parvo is serious, Crum said they’ve seen fatal cases this year. But it’s preventable through vaccinations.
If your adult dog is vaccinated, it can’t contract it. Puppies need the vaccines every few weeks. Crum said the vaccine costs just $13, far less than the $1,000 it’ll take to treat it.
“And because it’s a virus, there’s not an easy treatment,” Crum said. “It’s supportive care to get them through it, and it can be fatal. It’s very unpredictable.”
“Until the ones in the hospital are at home, I will be a nervous wreck until then,” Starck said. She said she hopes she got her foster pups to treatment fast enough, and that their little bodies can beat it.