Aug 3, 2012 / 5:00 am
A Kelowna veterinarian and his staff are heroes to a Vernon boy and his puppy Tasha. Dr. Moshe Oz of Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital stepped in to donate nearly $2,000 in life-saving veterinary services for the brindle mastiff puppy to ensure that Kolby, who received the dog as a birthday present, would share many childhood memories together with his new best friend.
“The puppy was purchased from a local home breeder but as soon as the family took her home it was clear that something wasn’t right,” says Suzanne Pugh, manager of the Kelowna SPCA Branch.
Tasha was lethargic and at first the family thought she might just be missing her siblings. After four days the family took the puppy to their local veterinarian in Vernon, who determined that Tasha had parvoviral enteritis (parvo), a serious and often deadly viral disease that affects young, unvaccinated puppies between six weeks and six months of age. Parvo attacks rapidly dividing cells in the intestinal tract and bone marrow, causing severe vomiting, diarrhea, impaired immune function and, in some cases, death.
“The family immediately contacted the breeder and although they had already bonded with Tasha they reluctantly returned the puppy to ensure that she would receive the expensive veterinary treatment required,” says Pugh. “They were heartbroken, but were not in a position to take care of the bills themselves.”
Unbeknownst to them, neither was the breeder.
“The breeder contacted one of our special constables asking if the SPCA could take the puppy and provide the care she needed,” says Pugh. Tasha was taken into SPCA custody and rushed to the nearest veterinary clinic – Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital, where she was placed in isolation and given immediate medical treatment.
“We were able to trace Tasha’s new family in Vernon and put Dr. Oz in touch with them. When he heard their story, he offered to cover all of the medical costs to save Tasha’s life,” says Pugh. Dr. Oz and his team worked in shifts to provide the 24-hour a day care that Tasha needed and on July 26th a healthy Tasha was joyfully reunited with her family.
“We really want to acknowledge amazing veterinarians in our community, like Dr. Oz, who go above and beyond to help animals,” says Pugh. She also urges pet guardians to ensure that their pets are vaccinated against parvo. “This is a deadly, but preventable disease and guardians should ensure their pets are protected.”
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