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Parvovirus Disease Kills Dozens of Puppies in Gulu City

Aero explained that this is the first time the disease has manifested in her puppies. She recalls that the puppies first lost appetite started vomiting whitish fluid and presented with a smelly blood discharge before their subsequent deaths.
A dog feeding its puppies in Gulu City. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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Dozens of puppies in Gulu City have succumbed to the parvovirus disease, which attacks puppies aged between four weeks and six months. The disease presents with loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea with smelly bloodstains.  

The disease has been reported within Gulu City in recent weeks. Beatrice Aero, a dog owner in Tegwana Parish, Pece-Laroo division told URN on Monday that the disease has claimed five of her thirteen puppies that were about one month old. 

Aero explained that this is the first time the disease has manifested in her puppies. She recalls that the puppies first lost appetite started vomiting whitish fluid and presented with a smelly blood discharge before their subsequent deaths.   

//Cue in: ‘’ocako ngok kare…  

Cue out: …weng gu too.’’//   

Dickson Odongkara, another affected dog owner, says that the “strange” disease killed thirteen of his three-week-old puppies last week. Like Aero, Odongkara says that the puppies presented with similar conditions before deaths much as they had been vaccinated and dewormed. 

//Cue in: ‘’gini gikwanyo…    

Cue out: …pien onywal apar.’’//   

The pet owners who say that it is the first time they are witnessing the disease among their puppies want urgent intervention from the City veterinary department. Francis Okello, the Project Manager for the Animals` Program at The Big Fix Uganda, says that Parvovirus is a dangerous disease that attacks and kills puppies.  

//Cue in: ‘’puppies are normally…    

Cue out: …they, they die.’’//   

He explained that the disease is transmitted through the oral routes (mouth and intestine). Okello noted that there is no particular treatment for the disease that can only be prevented through vaccinating all puppies from 6 weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks with Parvo vaccines.   

He added that the doctors only manage the conditions by giving IV fluids and giving glucose to give them energy so that they can overcome the conditions. 

//Cue in: ‘’the only way…    

Cue out: …overcome the condition.’’// 

 

Last week, the Big Fix Uganda vaccinated 180 dogs and four cats against rabies in Bardege-Layibi division, Gulu City.  Parvo disease, which is caused by a virus is highly contagious and spreads through direct contact with an infected dog or contaminated objects.    

Puppies are exposed to parvovirus every time they sniff or consume infected feces. A puppy in Gulu City costs between Shillings 30,000 and 100,000 depending on the size and breed.

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