ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council denied yesterday that there was an outbreak of the deadly parvo virus at the city's animal pound.
But, after the death of a 12-week-old puppy adopted by a Gracemere woman from the pound, the council urged dog owners to ensure their pets were vaccinated against the killer disease.
And the woman, who asked not to be identified, said she had been told by reliable sources at the facility that other dogs there had been put down in recent weeks when they showed signs of parvo infection.
After paying $110 for the apparently healthy pup she said she collected him from the pound after he had been microchipped.
"We took him home and he seemed to have an eye infection, so I bathed it, but after a couple of days it wasn't going away and our other dog had started to get it as well.
"So I took both dogs to the vet and they had a very bad case of contagious conjunctivitis.
"While I was at the vet I got the little pup's booster shot done. On the way home he was sick in the car and wasn't very well at all, so I rang the vet and he said if he remained sick the following day to take him back.
"By the next afternoon he had gotten worse and was very lethargic and wouldn't move. I took him back to the vet and he was diagnosed with parvo. I had to make the terrible decision to have him euthanised. We had him for not even six days," she said.
The woman said she couldn't understand why the pound had not advised that the dog could have been exposed to the virus.
A week later, she said, a neighbour's six-month-old pup died from parvo. She believes the virus could have been carried from the pound to Gracemere by her dog.
A council spokeswoman said yesterday that all dogs sold at the pound were microchipped and checked by an authorised vet before sale.
"Animals are kept at the pound for a period of two to five days and generally speaking it takes an average of 10 days and it can be 14 days before parvo symptoms are visible.
"The message the council needs to pass on is that people need to vaccinate their animals against parvo to reduce the risk and prevent the spread of this disease."
She said while there was no current outbreak, from time to time impounded animals showed parvo symptoms.
"These animals are isolated, vet checked and euthanised if required. The facility is then sanitised as an extra precaution."
The distraught owner said with vet's bills, the episode had cost her more than $300.