TOMS RIVER – Nineteen puppies quarantined for parvovirus after an outbreak at a local dog rescue have received a clean bill of health and will be ready for adoption later in January.
The Ocean County Health Department received numerous complaints about puppies getting sick and dying recently purchased from this local rescue in December.
“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,” Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, said.
While all dogs are susceptible to parvovirus, unvaccinated dogs, and puppies younger than four months, are most at risk. The virus is spread from direct dog-to-dog contact, and contact with contaminated feces, water bowls, leashes and food.
Symptoms quickly occur—lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, and severe diarrhea—and death usually occurs 24-48 hours after clinical signs occur.
“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,” Daniel E. Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator, said.
He continued: “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, visit the Ocean County Health Department website at ochd.org.