Family mourns new pup

PENNY WARDLE
Last updated 13:11 20/12/2013
parvovirus
Loved puppy: Jay was a playful puppy on Monday last week, but by the weekend she was dead after catching parvovirus

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A Renwick family bought a puppy last week and five days later put it down because it was so sick with parvovirus.

Raelene Grant said she bought one of a litter of american staffordshire puppies from a breeder in Renwick on Monday last week and named it Jay.

That night it had chicken for dinner and the next morning ate breakfast but then its health started to go downhill. Three visits to the vet later, Jay had been given antibiotic shots, shots to stop vomiting, a glucose injection plus glucose to drink.

The family took the puppy home on Friday night where it had to be kept separate from their adult dog, which had been vaccinated.

"On Saturday morning I went into the bathroom [where Jay was sleeping] and thought I can't watch her suffer any more. It was heartbreaking," Ms Grant said.

By the time Jay was put down she had cost the family $650, including her purchase price.

The puppy was seven weeks old when Ms Grant bought it with the intention of starting its parvo vaccinations that week.

"It was dirty and had fleas but seemed healthy," she said.

Before getting sick, Jay was a typical staffy, stubborn and headstrong, "which is what I like about the breed", Ms Grant said.

She thought she could give the puppy a great life as part of their family of four, "but we have learned a valuable lesson".

Ms Grant planned to buy another staffy from a dog enthusiast who gave top quality care to their pets.

An outbreak of the fatal disease parvovirus in Marlborough has prompted Blenheim veterinarian Mark Wiseman, of The Vet Centre in Redwood St, to remind people of the need to vaccinate puppies at 6-to-8 weeks then monthly until 16 weeks.

Booster shots were recommended a year later then every three years, at least. This would provide 100 per cent protection from parvo, he said.

Leave Fido at home

How much is that doggy in the long run?

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- The Marlborough Express

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