Be fair to your pets and vaccinate them

He had canine parvovirus, a lethal disease for which ─ like AIDs ─ there is no proper treatment to date.

Alizeh Babar October 04, 2012
My father has always said to me,
Alizeh, if a person can learn to love a human being the way a dog loves it's master - so truly and unconditionally - the world would be a happier place. 

Truer words could not have been spoken. As far back as I can remember, there hasn't been one day when I have left my house without returning to a familiar, constantly wagging tail, or a wet lick to my hand. As far as my memory serves, I have known many Rexys, Maggies, and even a blind Tommy.

Then for a few months, there was Brandy. Having selected him myself amongst a litter of pups, his frivolity, despite him being rather plump, instantly set him apart from the rest. His name suited him perfectly. It was as if he was constantly tipsy. There was this aura of zest around him. Needless to say, for my family and myself, much to the dismay of my other dogs, this 10 inches of joy became an immediate favourite!

Brandy’s life was, however, short-lived.


He had canine parvovirus, a lethal disease for which — like AIDs — there is no proper treatment to date. It is an open invitation for death of puppies over the age of six weeks that have not been protected by vaccination.

This disease has two distinct forms; an intestinal form and a cardiac form. Dysentery and continuous vomiting is a sure sign of the intestinal variant of this disease, while the cardiac form causes cardiovascular and breathing failures in puppies.

According to a renowned Pakistani vet, Dr Pirzada Abro, survival chances are as low as 20 per cent for untreated pups. This disease is highly contagious for other canines but it cannot infect humans. In most cases, dehydration or secondary infection results in the death of the puppy before the virus eventually kills it. Therefore, depending on the body weight of the puppy, as it changes over time, sufficient amount of fluid is injected periodically to provide adequate rehydration.

The first signs of canine parvovirus are lethargy, followed by loss of appetite or diarrhoea and vomiting. The disease is transmitted when a young puppy comes in contact with infected soil, faeces and formites. Survival is rare once diagnosed and lifespan is reduced in an instant to either 48 or 72 days.

My plea, thus, to everyone who reads this blog is to please take the necessary precaution. If you have a tiny best friend like I did, then make sure that it is vaccinated within six weeks of its birth, especially if the puppy is separated from its mother. Immunity within the body against antibodies lasts as long as a puppy survives on its mother’s milk - the same concept as with a human child.

If you have a heart, please do not make the same mistake as I did.

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Alizeh Babar A media science student and an avid rifle shooter. Animal enthusiast, a ponderer by heart and an explorer by choice, Alizeh tweets as @KachaPappita24
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Dagia | 11 years ago | Reply its really sad to know about brandy , he is a really cute dog .
Gul | 11 years ago | Reply RIP Brandy. I feel for you.
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