A total of 71 dogs have died following the outbreak of parvovirus at a national police hub for dog training and breeding in the north of Pretoria, reports Pretoria North Rekord.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said only the Roodeplaat hub was affected by the virus.
“I can confirm that the SAPS K9 breeding unit in Roodeplaat only was affected by the virus outbreak, which resulted in the SAPS having to put down several puppies,” he said.
Naidoo said more than 160 puppies were saved.
“The puppies are being monitored closely to ensure that they remain in good health.
“There is currently an investigation underway, to establish if there was any negligence on the part of any member tasked with the safe-keeping of the facility and the animals.”
Naidoo said authorities were alerted about the outbreak a month ago, on September 5.
The SPCA had not responded by the time of going print.
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their faeces. Dogs could be infected through oral contact with canine parvovirus in faeces, infected soil or fomites – objects or substances capable of carrying infectious organisms.
The rapid death of the intestinal cells resulted in the breaking away of the intestinal lining, vomiting, diarrhoea, and severe intestinal bleeding.
The number of canine parvovirus cases spike in spring and summer and decline during winter.
Dog owners are urged to vaccinate their dogs against canine parvovirus.
Additional reporting by Liam Ngobeni