NATIONAL NEWS - A devastated Annamarie Koen from the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) says that 26 stray dogs have died at the kennels during the last month due to parvovirus.
Parvovirus is a potentially fatal disease and puppies affected by it will most likely not survive without being hospitalised.
Also known as cat flu / katgriep, it is a virus that only affects unvaccinated puppies that have not been vaccinated three times with the 5-in1 vaccination, from the age of about three weeks to 18 months.
The virus attacks fast-dividing cells in the body, attacking and killing the cells that make the gut lining. This causes severe inflammation in the intestines, as the intestines are not able to digest food or water. This, in turn, causes nausea, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea.
The gut lining acts as a barrier between the rest of the body and the intestines. Once the barrier is destroyed, there is nothing stopping all the bugs, bacteria, toxins and viruses getting into the blood of the puppy and spreading all over the body.
Parvovirus also attacks and kills the cells of the immune system. This means the puppy cannot protect itself against all the bacteria, toxins and viruses that have entered the blood from the gut.