FEEL GOOD | Miracle dog overcomes deadly canine parvovirus

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Silvia Plaatjies, 58, said she “has no words” to express how happy she is that her puppy is feeling and looking so much better after he underwent his treatment to cure the disease.
Silvia Plaatjies, 58, said she “has no words” to express how happy she is that her puppy is feeling and looking so much better after he underwent his treatment to cure the disease.
  • A dedicated Cape Town dog owner travelled far to get treatment for her sick pup at the Animal Welfare Society last week.
  • The dog was diagnosed with parvovirus, a highly infectious disease that can be fatal.
  • The AWS says they treat five to 10 parvovirus cases per day and in some cases the animals don't make it.

A Cape Town dog managed to overcome the deadly parvovirus after his owner sprang into action to save it after it became ill.

Sylvia Plaatjies, 58, from Tambo Village near Manenberg, said she noticed her dog, My Baby, was not eating and did not move around as he usually did.

In fact, Plaatjies said it became clear that My Baby wanted to do nothing else but sleep.

"I initially thought the dog had worms, so I took him to a nearby pet shop in the area and they referred me to the Animal Welfare Society of SA (AWS) because the staff felt there was something seriously wrong with the dog," she said.

The mom of three said getting her dog to AWS wasn't easy.

"I had to take two taxis and then had to walk for about an hour to get to the animal welfare hospital."

"My dog was sick, and I wasn't going to let him suffer like that, so I walked with him to the shelter so that they could help him," she added.

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AWS nursing staffer Jacque le Roux said when the dog arrived at the shelter staff members assessed it in the hospital ward, where it was discovered that it had parvovirus, a highly infectious disease that can be fatal.

"We let the owner know immediately that we will do everything we can to save the patient's life and that we could not confirm if the pup would make it or not. The dog was not in good condition at all," he added.

According to mom-of-three Sylvia Plaatjies, gettin
According to mom-of-three Sylvia Plaatjies, getting My Baby to AWS wasn't easy as they had to travel in two taxis and then walk for one hour to get to the shelter.

AWS said the owner waited several hours for My Baby while they treated him. The dog was eventually put on a drip.

"The puppy showed huge signs of improvement and we were able to send him home the very same day. However, he needed to come back for more treatment each day until the disease was cured," Le Roux said.

According to AWS, Plaatjies walked to the shelter every day to check on her dog. Saturday was its last day of treatment.

"We were in awe at how happy and full of life the pup looked when he came in on Saturday for his last dose of the drip treatment. It was hard to believe that just on Thursday the dog was at death's door and now he has almost 100% recovered," Le Roux said.

Plaatjies said she was overjoyed to have her baby back home with the family.

Plaatjies added:

Oh, I'm so happy My Baby is back home with us and doing so much better. All those long walks to AWS were all worth it. I'm so thankful to God and the AWS staff.

Plaatjies said she named the dog My Baby because it was her "last-born" and brought them lots of smiles.

She added that the dog was prescribed medication for a few days. My Baby will be going back to the shelter after seven days to check its progress.

AWS spokesperson Allan Perrins said parvovirus is not contagious to people but can be spread from young pups to adult dogs.

He said:

AWS treats five to 10 parvo cases per day and, in some cases, the animals don't make it, which is why we encourage members of the public to vaccinate their dogs as early as possible to prevent this deadly disease from killing the animals.

Perrins said some of the parvovirus signs to look out for in dogs are severe and often bloody diarrhoea, fever, not eating, fatigue and rapid dehydration.

AWS said vaccinations can be done at the shelter at a cost of R100.

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