Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Franklin Lakes veterinarians nurse fatally diseased pit bulls

By Philip Devencentis, Suburban News

Doctors at the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital are working around the clock in care of a litter of pit bull puppies that were abandoned at the clinic last week.
Eight 8-week-old puppies (four females and four males) were delivered in a plastic tub during the afternoon Thursday, Aug. 19. Since then, three of the puppies had to be euthanized due to severe illness.
Dr. Jill Shiffman, who has been treating the puppies, said Tuesday, Aug. 24, all are stricken with parvovirus, a gastrointestinal disease that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.
Shiffman said the virus is common among puppies and that pit bulls are particularly prone to it. It is spread through contact with infected dogs' feces, she said.
Shiffman said the puppies were dropped in front of the clinic. When the man who delivered them attempted to drive away, she said, he was stopped by one of the clinic's receptionists who had witnessed the delivery.
According to Shiffman, the man told the receptionist he found the puppies on Dakota Trail in Franklin Lakes and that he lived in Paterson.
The man also provided a name and an address; however, Shiffman said, when staff members at the clinic checked the address they found it was not valid.
And then there was what they found inside the plastic tub: information from the Web about the virus.
"It's just really sad to watch," she said. "No matter what you do, they continue to fade away."
Shiffman and her staff have been treating the puppies by keeping them hydrated. There is no direct antiviral medication to treat the disease, she said.
The puppies have been receiving intravenous fluid therapy and blood plasma transfusions, Shiffman said, as well as antibiotics and anti-nausea medication.
Shiffman said on Aug. 24 she expected another puppy to die but that another had looked exceptionally perky that day. It may take as long as two weeks, she said, for the puppies that do survive to make a full recovery. At that time, she said, they likely will be delivered to Oakland's Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge Inc., from which they may be adopted.
Shiffman said the clinic received $65 from a group of local girls who sold lemonade roadside to help the abandoned puppies.
But not everyone has to sell lemonade to help, Shiffman said.
"Be responsible with your animals," she said. "Get your pets spayed, neutered and vaccinated."

1 comment:

  1. Having a new pet brings along multiple responsibilities. Depending on the pet chosen, new owners will have to be prepare to invest a lot of time, energy and money. The maintenance of just a small animal can run up to thousands of dollars annually. Most times that cost does not even take into account the possible need for emergency veterinarian care.




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