Deadly, Contagious Virus is a Highly Preventable Threat To Pets

BUCKS COUNTY, PA (WTXF)- A Bucks County animal hospital is trying to get out the word about a deadly highly contagious virus that's impacting dogs throughout our area. It's called parvovirus. Right now, two puppies at the hospital are battling it. The key to winning the war is a simple, low cost and sometimes no cost vaccination.

Mistletoe and her brother Tinsel have been battling parvovirus since Harley's Haven Dog Rescue scooped them up from Philadelphia's municipal animal shelter ACCT.

"Without treatment, without intensive treatment like we've done with Tinsel and Mistletoe, it's about a 90 percent mortality rate," Dr. Beth Mehaffey of Harley's Haven Dog, "It's really, really serious. With treatment, it's about 50/50 is what the statistics are."

These two pups were part of a litter of six a man in a pick-up abandoned at acct last week. The other four pups did not make it out alive.

"They were really terrified, didn't seem socialized. They didn't even have names. They were like really sad and those are the ones that kind of tug on my heartstrings because I feel like they don't have a good chance in a busy, crowded shelter," Dr. Mehaffey said.

Doctor Beth Mehaffey and her partner at Perkasie's Pennridge Animal Hospital also run Harley's Haven.

They've been working around the clock, trying to save the lives of their new pups.

"It's really labor intensive. I mean these guys have been here in the hospital for 5 to 6 days now, in isolation." Dr. Mehaffey, explained, "They're on IV fluids, IV antibiotics, GI meds to try and calm everything down and support them long enough for their bodies to fight everything off."

All that work is paying off.

"I got my gown and my gloves and my booties and my hat and I went in and Mistletoe got up and, yup, this little one right here who was the saddest of the two and she walked over to me, tail wagging and she licked my face," said Kira Berger of Pennridge Animal Hospital," and I was like 'Aww, that's a good sign!'"

But none of this had to happen. A simple widely available vaccination shields dogs from the horrible effects of the deadly virus.

"If people just did it, they could save so many lives by vaccinating their dogs," Dr. Mehaffey said.

Pups like Mistletoe and Tinsel would never have had to go through this.

To help with Tinsel and Mistletoe's medical expenses visit their GoFundMe Page.

For more on low-cost vaccine clinics for pets from the PSPCA, follow this link: