Township Clinic Launches Drive to Save Dogs from Deadly Virus

Thursday, 21 January, 2010
Cape Town, South Africa
An emergency vaccination drive has been launched to save Khayelitsha dogs from an outbreak of the deadly canine parvovirus.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – said today that mobile clinics from its project, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, would from Monday begin vaccinating dogs most at risk from the virus in the Site C and Site B areas of the township.

“A particularly serious outbreak of Parvovirus in the Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay areas means that it really is only a matter of time before the disease spreads to nearby Khayelitsha. Our immediate focus will be on dogs most likely to be infected - puppies and young dogs,” said Jane Levinson, Mdzananda’s co-ordinator.

The mobile vaccination clinics start on Monday, 25 January. They will be operational from 10h00 at the library in Site C and from 12h00 at the Andile Msizi Hall in Site B, Khayelitsha.

Levinson said that owners with access to transport should take their young dogs to Mdzananda’s clinic headquarters where they could be vaccinated.

In addition the clinic’s veterinary staff will, for the foreseeable future, immediately quarantine and test any dog found with parvovirus-like symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and high fever.

“This is no time to be taking any chances with sick pets. Anyone who has a dog showing such symptoms should seek veterinary assistance as a matter of urgency,” said Levinson.

Levinson paid tribute to vaccine manufacturer Intervet and distributor Norpharm, who are assisting Mdzananda in their emergency intervention against Parvovirus by slashing the prices of the life-saving drugs needed to keep dogs safe.

“We are extremely grateful to them both. Their generosity has been key to us getting this emergency relief exercise off to a swift start, meaning we can start protecting dogs before Parvovirus actually takes hold in Khayalitsha,” said Levinson.

Mdzananda Animal Clinic, which is a project of IFAW, provides full-time, on-site primary veterinary healthcare to pets of the Khayelitsha community. The clinic has been operational for 13 years and operates from six recycled shipping containers. Mdzananda is situated at 21297 Govan Mbeki Road, Khayetlisha. Tel: 021 367 2302.

If members of the public would like to donate to this urgent Parvovirus vaccination campaign you can make a deposit to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Plusplan account 75595710, Standard Bank Rondebosch. Branch number: 025009. Mdzananda is a registered NPO (041-448) and issues tax exempt certificates for donations.  

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