Thursday 30th July: Ginger loses his fight

Instead of going straight to the kennels from Lamma, I head to the SPCA in Wanchai to visit Ginger, and to pick up another dog, Parker, who also had parvovirus but is now ready to leave.

 As I go into the isolation room Ginger manages to flip the end of his tail a couple of times, not exactly a wag as he hasn’t got the energy, but enough to let me know that he’s happy to see me.  Being literally isolated in a strange place is hard for a dog and I usually try to treat the sick puppies at home, but when IV fluids and antibiotics are necessary there’s simply no choice.  I lift Ginger out of his cage while his bedding is changed, then climb back in with him to sit for a while.  I tell him that everyone is rooting for him and ask him not to give up, words that mean nothing to him but I hope he is comforted by my voice.  Update:  After posting this blog I received a call from the vet to tell me that Ginger had died during the (Thursday) night.  My poor little Ginger. I only had a short time to enjoy his wonderful, bright character.

Sweet Parker

Sweet Parker

While I’m paying attention to Ginger, there’s an impatient Parker on the other side of the room, dancing in his cage and yipping excitedly.  He’s an older dog, five years or more, and while he too came down with parvo, his age and size gave him an advantage and now he’s well enough to go back to kennels.  He can’t wait to get out of his cage, and once clipped on to his leash we’re out of the door as fast as he can pull me.

After having been cuddling a highly infectious Ginger, and with Parker sitting on my lap for the entire taxi ride back to kennels, I’m very aware that I’m a walking virus carrier.  Parker will also continue shedding the virus for a while and must be kept isolated, something which is far from easy in a kennel that is completely full.  The only solution is to close the middle door of a kennel space and give half to Parker, and the other half to the current residents, Jiggy and Louise.  Parker’s not happy being back in a small space, and I’m not happy about it either, but there’s no other option.  A quarantine section is on our wish list for our new kennels, wherever and whenever they may be.

 We have a visiting vet at the kennels, and she’s here to help give Proheart injections to all the doglets who are now old enough to have a year’s protection against heartworm.  As the dose is based on a dog’s weight, it can’t be given to puppies whose weight will change drastically over a short period.  It makes life much easier not to have to give Heartgard to every dog on a monthly basis, although it’s something I have to do with my Lamma dogs.

 The dogs are brought in to the volunteer room one by one to be weighed and then injected with Proheart.  For most of them it’s a fairly easy procedure, but there are a few dogs who are convinced that something terrible is about to happen and there’s no way they’re going to take it without a fight.  Jimbo is one of them, and we eventually give up and accept that he’s going to stay on Heartgard permanently.

 Although I have scrubbed my hands and arms, I don’t want to hang around the kennels wearing the same clothes that have been next to Ginger and Parker, so I leave as soon as I can.  It’s very worrying to know that parvovirus or distemper is around, as once it starts to show in one or two new dogs it can mean the start of an outbreak that might result in a few deaths before it fizzles out.  There’s nothing that can be done to prevent this happening in a rescue kennels that’s inevitably bringing new dogs all the time.  I’m sure that both Parker and Ginger were infected before coming to us and were incubating the virus without any obvious signs.  Fortunately almost every dog at kennels is fully vaccinated except for the baby pups, but we will all have to be extra vigilant over the next few weeks.

Important update:  there have been several more cases of leptospirosis reported in the Pokfulam/Mid-levels areas and several dogs have died. Please be extra vigilant about going near water and don’t let you dogs drink or play in pools or puddles.  Take water with you, or walk in other areas if possible.  Remember that leptospirosis also affects humans, so it’s not just your dogs that are at risk.


To help us save more dogs’ lives, click here to make a donation.


5 Responses to “Thursday 30th July: Ginger loses his fight”

  1. max Says:

    Sally, thanks for bringing some “good” news of ginger. Hope to see his “smiling” face very soon…..Is ginger manage to eat?

    • Sally Says:

      I’m sorry to say that Ginger lost his fight last night. There was nothing more the vets could do, and I know you will be as upset as I am that he has gone. Thank you for caring about him.

  2. Vivian Chan Says:

    Oh, Jimbo the big baby. It is probably the volunteer room residents that most of the “outsiders” are afraid of. Once Jimbo has focus on the “bad idea” (i.e. whatever that we want him to do but he isn’t comfortable about it), he can be quite stubborn. At least, he is going out for walks now.

  3. Alicia Too Says:

    Hi Sally
    I read your blog this morning and I hope and pray so much that Ginger can make it. Although I have never met Ginger (have not been in the kennel for awhile as I am fostering dumplings) but he was so cute on the picture and I am really sad to hear the update news.
    I am so proud of you as I know you have to face this kind of tragic or bad news all the times and yet you still continue your meaningful work which I really respect. I wish I could be as tough and as strong as you !
    To think positive, everytime when I go back home and see dumplings wagging her tail to welcome me and seeing her improving on her physically condition it brings a big smile on my face. I am gald to know that I can bring happiness to those unfortunate dogs. Please keep up the good job.

  4. eu Says:

    May Ginger rest happily in heaven with plenty of food, dogggie playmates and kind people. Human world, perhaps, is a cruel place for such a happy dog.

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