Georgia Animal Rescue & Defence Inc,  Laws and Regulations,  Sick animals from GARD

Kawasaki’s Disease, Parvoviridae & GA Dept of Ag

Twenty one years ago my then-four-year-old nephew was diagnosed with Kawasaki’s Syndrome, now called Kawasaki’s Disease. At that time a parvovirus was believed to be responsible but nothing definitive was known. No one knew for certain whether my nephew’s new puppy’s death from Parvo a week prior to my nephew’s admission to the ICU were related but the two events were definitely considered more than coincidence.

Kawasaki’s Disease is a relatively rare disease occurring primarily in children under five years old. Usually survivable, the cardiovascular effects of infection cause one of Kawasaki’s worst manifestations and long-term complications: coronary heart disease. My nephew escaped that complication.

As best I can tell researchers and clinicians still don’t know the etiology of Kawasaki’s and it’s getting a lot of attention due to association with COVID-19.

Clin Rheumatol 2020 Aug 10 : 1–7. Kawasaki disease in siblings in close temporal proximity to each other—what are the implications? Introduction:


Kawasaki disease (KD) is one of the commonest childhood vasculitides and usually occurs in children below 5. Recognition of the characteristic signs and symptoms is crucial as the diagnosis remains essentially clinical. However, in cases with incomplete KD, certain laboratory parameters and echocardiographic assessment of coronary arteries may facilitate the diagnosis [1]. KD has lately generated enormous interest among physicians, scientists, and even the lay public due to its association with the novel coronavirus pandemic (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) [2]. This is reflected in the increasing number of publications that are emerging from around the globe linking KD to an infectious trigger. As a unique coincidence, Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki, the legendary Japanese pediatrician after whom the disease is eponymously named, passed away recently [3].

Despite intense research efforts spanning over many decades, the exact etiology remains unknown. The etiological hypotheses include a KD-specific RNA virus, superantigen-mediated illness, and tropospheric winds transporting infectious or toxic agents. Environmental triggers, especially infections, are believed to trigger the disease in genetically susceptible individuals [4]. An important clinical observation that supports this hypothesis is the occurrence of KD in siblings who have disease onset in close temporal proximity to each other. Another clinical observation favoring this hypothesis is the older sibling often presenting with KD first—probably a reflection of greater likelihood of exposure to an infectious trigger. Despite an increased risk of developing KD, siblings of index cases may not be diagnosed due to atypical or incomplete presentations. Incomplete or “atypical” KD patients seem to be at a higher risk of developing coronary artery abnormalities (CAAs) which may be partly due to delays in diagnosis [5].

Note: Fifth disease is a caused by a parvovirus specific to humans (B19) but Fifth is not Kawasaki’s. Be sure to differentiate if you decide to do your own research.

Enter the GA Department of Agriculture

GA Animal Protection Act § 4-11-9.1.  Quarantine of animal, premises, or any area by Commissioner
(a) In the control, suppression, prevention, and eradication of animal diseases, the Commissioner or any duly authorized representative acting under his authority is authorized and required to quarantine an animal, premises, or any area when he shall determine that animals in such place or places are infected with a contagious or infectious disease, that the unsanitary condition of such place or places might cause the spread of such disease, that the animal has or has been exposed to any contagious or infectious disease, or that the owner or occupant of such place or places is not observing sanitary practices prescribed under the authority of this article or any other law of this state. 

No point in emphasizing the entire paragraph but it leaped out at me. Given Angela’s experience with Giardia and Bordatella-turned-pneumonia, and our experience with Bordatella, with GARD’s own Facebook posts detailing parvo infections combined with similar cases I’ve been told about, I have the following question:

Why hasn’t GARD been quarantined and thoroughly sanitized?

As Angela said, a train wreck like hers doesn’t happen overnight. My friend’s dog’s illness wasn’t new either. I’ve been told how parvo-infected puppies are handled at GARD and it’s not a pretty tale.

Note that the law doesn’t say the Commissioner or his duly authorized representatives MAY quarantine. It says the Commissioner or his duly authorized representatives are REQUIRED TO QUARANTINE.

I can recall off the top of my head three instances in the past four months of GARD selling unquestionably sick animals. The law doesn’t specify which communicable diseases are applicable. The law clearly states “a contagious or infectious disease.” How many sick animals must be documented before GARD is quarantined and sterilized?

No one knows if canine parvovirus infection causes or contributes to all cases of Kawasaki’s Disease but given the risks it makes sense to protect the public, particularly young children, from unnecessary illnesses. Canine Parvovirus is properly treated in a veterinary clinic, not a dirty shed.

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