He just couldn’t say no.
West Kelowna veterinarian Dr. Moshe Oz came to the aid of 10 puppies last weekend that were struck by Parvo, a contagious viral disease that can be fatal to dogs.
“It’s always a difficult decision because the person looking after the pups couldn’t afford to pay for the treatment,” said Oz, well known in Okanagan dog circles for his philanthropic efforts to save the lives of cats and dogs.
That cost would have been well over $10,000 as all dogs required round-the-clock care for almost a week with no guarantee some or any of them would pull through.
“Usually you get about 50 per cent success in this situation, so for all 10 to survive is quite rare,” Oz noted.
Despite it being the Thanksgiving long weekend, Oz said his veterinary staff pitched in to help with the care of the animals since last Sunday. “We have a special group of people who work here and they all wanted to help save these dogs.”
Oz said the dogs each had to be isolated because of Parvo being contagious, to be cleaned and medicated regularly on a 24-hour time regiment.
“We went through an enormous amount of blankets and towels,” he said.
While normally one or two dogs in a litter may catch Parvo, he said it was unusual for all 10 of the Doberman Pinscher-Rottweiler-Blue Heeler crosses to get it, a factor that likely resulted from neither the mother or father having previously received the parvo vaccination shot.
“Usually the puppies require the vaccination about six to eight weeks after birth, as initially the pups will benefit from the mom having been immunized and passing on her immunity to them as protection from Parvo,” he said.
Oz said taking on these mercy cases is what his accountant will say is not good business practice, but he feels compelled to help out dogs or cats facing a health crisis when there are no other options.
“It’s always a struggle to deal with these situations, but it can be hard to say ‘no.’ But it’s also important that we’ve been able to save the lives of these 10 dogs and their outlook for the future is positive.”
For Robert Mahdal, a Chute Lake area resident, the help of Dr. Oz and his staff has left him to extend his gratitude for saving the pups. “Out of a litter of 11, we only lost one who died before we could get him to the vet,” he said.
Mahdal took on the responsibility for the pups after the owners of the mother and father couldn’t deal with all the puppies. He named them all and says he can differentiate which one is which despite the similar colour leanings.
Mahdal’s hope is that he can find a temporary place to house the pups, such as on a farm or rural acreage. “I want to keep three for myself and find homes for the other seven,” he said.
He also is asking for donations to help off-set the expense incurred by Dr. Oz to save the puppies’ lives.
If you want to help Mahdal in his fundraising or dog relocation efforts, he can be contacted at 250-575-7733 or call Dr. Oz’ s office at 250-769-9109.