The police veterinary hospital is working tirelessly to combat the spread of the parvovirus that broke out at the police dog unit. The parvovirus, better known as cat flu, broke out at the police dog unit in Roodeplaat in northern Pretoria on June 15, and 45 dogs have already died. It is also the second time in one year that the virus has spread here.
Col. Police spokeswoman Brenda Muridilli said in a statement that the veterinary hospital, which forms part of the canine unit, began to discover by mid-June that dogs being brought to the hospital for a consultation look different .
“It became alarming when the dogs did not respond to the treatment. The management of the hospital was then requested to have blood samples taken from the dogs at an independent laboratory, ”Muridili says. The Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital in Pretoria performed a necropsy and found the dogs had cat flu among members.
As many as 45 dogs have already died due to the virus, of which 37 had to be killed.
It has been previously reported that this is the second time in a year that the deadly virus has hit its head. “Although the veterinary hospital vaccinated puppies of six, eight and 12 weeks respectively, this virus unfortunately hit the unit again,” Muridili says.
Renate Barnard, former lieutenant colonel in police and currently sector coordinator at Solidarity, said although the dogs were vaccinated this time, the vaccine does not necessarily stop the virus completely. She told Maroela Media earlier that the dogs’ cages had to be disinfected and cleaned regularly and the police had failed to do just that.
Muridili says the dog unit has introduced quarantine measures to curb the spread of the virus. She also says the unit’s management monitors the dog unit closely.
Brig. However, Letshuti Phele, the head of the veterinary hospital at the police’s dog unit, says he is positive that they have the outbreak under control.
“Although there is no specific treatment for the virus, our main focus is on caring for the sick dogs with supportive care and general nursing care. With strict isolation, we try to boost the dogs’ immune systems and fight against the spread of the virus, ”says Phele.
Phele says the dogs’ cages are disinfected daily. He says staff working with the dogs are also encouraged to maintain strict hygiene.
Police Human Resource Development (HRD) and visible policing departments, which are responsible for the dog unit and veterinary hospital respectively, continue to seek sustainable solutions to the general incidence of infectious disease in dogs at breeding units.
Cat flu also broke out in the dog unit last September and about 120 dogs contracted the virus. By October, 75 dogs had already died. The unit had about 200 dogs at that stage.
Kobus Hoffman, a FF Plus member of the Gauteng provincial legislature, says the party was convinced, after its review visit to the dog unit, that the unit should be subjected to a full-scale investigation, and that the commander and the buyer as well as the head of the veterinary hospital must be suspended in order to conduct a meaningful examination.