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Parvovirus outbreak at a Tulsa County puppy rescue

Posted at 4:39 PM, May 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-19 23:17:02-04

TULSA, Okla. — Puppy Haven Rescue staff tell 2 Works for You it's the worst Parvo outbreak they've ever seen: ten infected puppies this season, and already one lost to the illness.

"I get scared to get up in the morning to get a phone call that one of our babies didn't make it. We get hardly any sleep during these times. It's really tough on us," president Breanne Luiskutty said.

At this point the rescue has spent close to $20,000 on vet bills. Luiskutty said as of Tuesday, there won't be any money left.

In the meantime, fosters are wary the sickness will spread after seeing how quickly other puppies fell ill.

"They came home from work, played with them, the puppy was fine. And then within a couple of hours had started going downhill. So it's a never-ending worry," Dee Maxey said.

Staff with the puppy rescue said spring is the most common time for animals to get this illness. Luiskutty recommends keeping dogs away from places like parks until after vaccinations.

"Parvo can be carried even on your clothing, it can be carried through direct or indirect exposure. So somehow one of our healthy puppies must have licked just the right thing," she said.

That means even humans can spread the disease.

Currently five of Puppy Haven's dogs are at a local animal hospital. Luiskutty said there's no treatment for Parvo, only supportive care.

"When a puppy comes down with Parvo all you can do is hospitalize, which is extremely expensive. The first signs of Parvo... the very first sign is no appetite," she said.

Other symptoms include vomiting and lethargic behavior.

The non-profit is funded entirely by donations. For more information on how you can help you can call Woodland West Animal Hospital, or visit the Puppy Haven Rescue Facebook page.

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