Darwin Animal Doctors


Parvo Outbreak

Parvo virus is a highly contagious viral disease that is, unfortunately, very present in the Galapagos Islands. The virus is life threatening, typically affecting a dog’s digestional tract, and in some strains, also cardiac muscle. The virus causes loss of appetite and severe vomiting and diarrhea which, in turn, leads to extreme dehydration and lethargy/weakness. The virus is spread through fecal matter and most commonly effects puppies, but can also affect adult dogs. Due to vaccination programs, this disease is quite well controlled in other areas of the world. However, as vaccinations are not yet legal in the Galapagos, and as dogs still freely roam the streets (coming in contact with fecal matter from other dogs), the virus can (and does) spread like wildfire.

Recently, the Galapagos clinic faced another outbreak of Parvo, and the Doctors were brought literally boxes of affected puppies. With a high demand of care for each individual case, the Doctors knew they were in for some long weeks. For the best chance of survival, each affected dog must be treated on strict 12 hourly appointments with intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Each dog has his own 12 hourly schedule, requiring the team to come into the clinic to treat patients around the clock. With such a high number of cases, the Doctors were desperately trying to keep up with the demand of IV fluids and medication. Running between every pharmacy on the Island, the team bought up everything in stock, and then carefully distributed the medication to ensure each and every animal could be treated. Back in the clinic, the Doctors were on high alert, disinfecting the work area after every patient seen in order to ensure that the spread of the virus would not come from the clinic itself.

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After weeks of long hours and hard work, it seemed that the outbreak was over. And with an incredible result; all of these lucky puppies survived this Parvo outbreak! A massive thank you to the whole team for such commitment to lead to such a wonderful result!!!

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