One of the ladies who used to volunteer with PMR called us earlier this week about 6 German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) about six months old that were coming into a shelter with what was almost certainly canine parvovirus, or "parvo". Parvo is deadly to puppies, especially if they have not been getting their immune system booster vaccinations, or DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza). Typically, puppies are fully vaccinated by four months of age, and out of danger from parvo.
Seeing pups with parvo in shelters is, unfortunately, not too uncommon. What makes this one just baffling is that the owner of these pups claims to have whelped them from AKC registered parents. When they got sick, he decided he could not or would not pay for their veterinary care, which for six pups could be in the low thousands depending on the vet.
Our former volunteer wanted to know if we would take them in and try to save their lives. Well, our president is a huge fan of GSDs, and we did not hesitate, we said yes. We made arrangements with a GSD breed-specific rescue in the area to take two of the pups, and we picked them up and started the fluids (it was after normal business hours, so we put them on fluids until the vet could take them in the morning). We got them to the vet, who put them on IV fluids, broad spectrum antibiotics, and minor nutritional supplements. Sadly, one of the pups passed that afternoon.
So far, the others are hanging on. A couple of them are still in a very fragile state, with an almost negligible white blood cell count. Prayer is what may be keeping them with us at this point.
What I cannot fathom is why someone would breed AKC registered GSDs and choose to not vaccinate the pups. It is maybe a couple of hundred dollars for all six. Other than a level of ignorance that is hard to accept, the only explanation that makes sense to us is greed. And now one gorgeous pup is dead, two are barely hanging on, the three more are still in danger.
PMR will do what it takes to keep these pups alive, and find them new happy forever homes. It will be expensive. If you have the wiggle room, or know others who do, please consider contributing to their fund. Their pictures are on our website, www.pawfectmatch.org.