Two puppies dumped in a community near Al Qudra have died of the highly contagious parvovirus raising the alarm over illegal breeders operating in Dubai.
The dogs, believed to be Labradors, were found by labourers near the Town Square development on July 2.
Dog-loving residents took the puppies in and soon visited a vet after both animals fell ill.
Gripped by lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea, the dogs - named Lucky and Bailey - displayed classic signs of the virus but were given a vaccination and sent on their way.
Their condition worsened over the following 24 hours, and a second opinion was sought by another vet who diagnosed the potentially fatal condition.
Despite further medical attention, both dogs died just a day later.
“We don’t know if the dogs were siblings but, because they were pure breeds, the vets we took them to for treatment assumed they were either illegally bred in a puppy farm or from a pet shop,” said Natalia, a resident who took in one of the dogs.
“They were dumped without vaccinations so they picked up the virus very quickly. As they were puppies, it was devastating for them.
“When we picked her up she was very dirty with scratches on her and covered in tics.”
Three days after taking her home, Bailey’s health began to deteriorate. A vet carried out several tests, and gave the dog a vaccination against the virus.
When her health worsened, a second vet suggested a blood transfusion was required, but the dog’s health continued to deteriorate and she died shortly afterwards.
Natalia paid about Dh3,500 for Bailey’s treatment.
The canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can be life threatening if untreated. Early signs and symptoms are lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhoea leading to dehydration.
The virus attacks white blood cells and is particularly dangerous in young animals.
It can be transmitted by anything that comes into contact with the faeces of an infected dog and can survive for months in an untreated environment leaving unvaccinated dogs potentially exposed.
“The dogs were found on the construction site near where I live,” said Kasia, a Polish expatriate who gave a temporary home to the second dog, called Lucky.
“We thought they had escaped as they had collars, so it was posted on Facebook to see if anyone was missing them.
“Although the dog had been microchipped, it did not reveal any information on where he had been chipped or who owned him.
“When no one came forward, he was taken to the vet as he was sick. I offered to take him in a couple of days later, but he was very weak and sleeping most of the time.
“He wasn’t behaving like a normal puppy and he couldn’t eat or drink without vomiting. He got very weak so I took him back to the vet, who did a test and confirmed it was parvovirus.
“The dog lost 1.3kg in weight in just 24 hours. A day later she was dead.”
The vet that treated both animals did not respond for requests to comment. Previous cases of parvovirus have been recorded from animals bought from back-street breeders or rogue pet shops.
A pet shop accused of selling sick animals had its trade licence suspended in Jumeirah Lakes Towers in 2017, following several complaints were submitted to Dubai Municipality.
Customers claimed they had purchased puppies from Petholicks infected with the deadly parvovirus, who later died.
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