Rescued litter of puppies devastated by parvo

February 18, 2013 


The nine Labrador mix puppies pictured on this month’s cover of Lake Murray and Northeast Columbia magazines – delivered with some editions of The State today – were healthy rescues from a litter of 12.

But weeks later, seven of the dogs would be gone after a fatal bout with a pet virus called parvo.

The dogs, cared for by a foster family with SQ Rescue, were healthy when the photos were taken in mid-January. But a few days later, they began to show symptoms of parvo, a highly contagious virus that often leads to severe intestinal problems. The magazine went to press before editors learned of the puppies’ deaths.

The strongest two of the puppies survived, but the other seven died despite extensive and expensive efforts by the rescue group, according to president Patti O’Rourke.

The puppies were among a litter born to a stray Labrador retriever taken in by the rescue group. One puppy died shortly after birth and two others were quickly adopted. The other nine went to live with a foster family while awaiting adoption.

It’s unclear how they picked up the virus. Parvo is especially dangerous to puppies, and the SQ Rescue puppies already had been given the first round of four vaccinations for the virus, O’Rourke said.

The first two puppies who came down with symptoms were the two who survived. Dogs that survive parvo have no long-term problems, and those two remain available for adoption. Contact SQ Rescue for information at

From Staff Reports

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