They are cute, cuddly and now anxious to be homeward bound! 19 puppies recently quarantined for 28 days by the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD), in conjunction with Toms River Township, due to a canine parvovirus outbreak at a Toms River dog rescue are now out of danger from the deadly disease and will be available for adoption later on this month.
In December of last year, the Ocean County Health Department responded to a number of complaints that puppies purchased from an area rescue were getting sick and dying from the highly contagious virus.
“The OCHD environmental inspection unit and administration department partnered with Toms River Animal Control from the beginning of this investigation and did a terrific job of quickly responding to these complaints and ultimately saving 19 precious puppies. Every day for the last month the puppies have been nursed back to health by the veterinary and shelter staff at the Ocean County Animal Facilities. It was a great team effort,” says Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health.
All dogs are susceptible to the parvovirus, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than 4 months old are most at risk. The parvovirus is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces, water bowls, leashes, food and stool are just a few ways the virus may be transmitted. Most deaths from parvovirus occur within 24 to 48 hours following the onset of clinical signs which include lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting and severe diarrhea.
“Vaccination and maintaining good hygiene are important components of preventing the parvovirus. When you purchase or adopt a new puppy or dog you should always make an appointment with your veterinarian to insure the pet is up-to-date with, not only the parvo vaccine, but with rabies and all other vital age appropriate inoculations,” explains Daniel E. Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator.
Regenye added, “The health department not only cares for the animals housed at our shelters, but our environmental inspection team is charged with ensuring the health of animals under the care of pet stores/rescues, shelters and pounds within the county. These establishments must adhere to state guidelines with respect to disease control, veterinary care, housing, and so much more.”
For more information about animal vaccines, adoptions and inspections, please click on the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org. Also, please check out our new website at www.phu2.org, to access and learn more about our Public Health is You Too! campaign to help equip you to take simple steps to improve your health.