Tues 19th January: Hazel and Saucy didn’t make it

Kennel cough has swept in, and both the Lamma puppies and the Nutcase litter at kennels have been affected.  Like the human cold, there’s not much you can do except hope that the snotty nose and cough don’t move down into the lungs, but in the case of beautiful Hazel it did just that.  She was perfectly fine at Whiskers’n’Paws on Sunday but by today she already had pneumonia and had to be sent to hospital. 

The effect of stress on puppies, and even adult dogs, can’t be underestimated.   Even moving a dog from kennels to a lovely home is very stressful, and many times a dog will fall ill soon after being adopted.  The change of routine and environment can have a dramatic effect on the immune system, and suddenly a previously perfectly healthy dog is coughing or has diarrhoea.  Countless times puppies that have been to the Sunday adoption afternoons have come down with something the following day, and it’s purely the stress of the trip from Lamma and being in a unfamiliar place being handled (and manhandled) by strangers.   Stress is also very tiring, and the Sunday puppies are usually asleep by four o’clock, at least the younger ones.

The stress factor also explains why puppies fall victim to parvovirus, distemper and other infectious diseases shortly after being bought from pet shops.  There are viruses floating around everywhere, all the time, but the immune system is usually strong enough to be able to fight them off.  It only takes a very small change to send everything crashing down, and most of these puppies have been taken from their mothers too young and before they have had a chance to build any sort of immune defence system.  They are weak and fragile, and always teetering on the brink of survival.

Imagine the stress that puppies at AFCD have been through too, and it’s amazing that any survive.  That’s why I don’t take puppies for re-homing until they have had at least two vaccinations meaning that they have been with me for a minimum of two weeks, the full incubation period for parvovirus and distemper, the worst puppy killers.

Anyway, for now we can only keep an eye on the coughers and hope that it doesn’t get worse.  Kennel cough normally runs its course and clear up without treatment but secondary infection is a risk, and then antibiotics are necessary.  I made sure we put in an order for a big tub of Virkon, the anti-viral, anti-bacterial liquid that you can spray on hands and shoes and everything else to try to reduce infection spreading.

Sadly, nothing comes with a guarantee, and especially not life.  Just now, at 8.45am I got the news that both beautiful Hazel and tiny Saucy, the dachshund puppy with parvovirus, had died.

To balance the dogs and their problems, the plans for the new kennels are taking shape and it’s getting exciting.  When we moved into the current site at Pokfulam everything was already there, so there was no need for any planning or designing.  Now we have a completely blank piece of paper, and can have what we want and where we want it.  Decisions!  Anyway, we do know that there will be much more space for the dogs, both in their own kennels and for running around and playing, and that in itself is something to look forward to.


2 Responses to “Tues 19th January: Hazel and Saucy didn’t make it”

  1. Yolanda Yan Says:

    May Hazel and Saucy rest in peace.

  2. Marie Says:

    poor pups.. poor babies. wish I could protect them from all the evil illnesses that are out there.

    on the up side.. Im so excited about the new site too!!

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