I wanted to post this becuase I have just had a personal experience with Parvo. My 10 week old Border/Collie Dalmation mix just won his battle with this horrible virus!

About a month ago my husband and I had to put down our 4 year old Beagle, Jackson. This was heartbreaking for us but we really thought that another dog would help to fill our void. We went a week later to Kentucky’s Metro Animal Services. We found a tiny little white and black puppy which we adopted and named Harley.

About a week and a half (Friday) after we brought him home we took him to the vet because he had what we suspected to be worms. Anyways, he did have worms- in fact, he had one of the worst cases of tapeworm that the vet had ever seen on top of kennel cough. He also had his 2nd round of shots that day. Everything was fine and taken care of after that.

That Wednesday night Harley began to have a little diarrhea WHICH WAS REALLY SMELLY (your first sign), but nothing to where it raised any concerns with us because he was still completely active and acting normally otherwise. Later that night he threw up once or twice. Still, we didn’t think anything of it.

By Thursday Harley was still having a little diarrhea and he had thrown up once more. I began to do research on what this could be and that’s when I came across Parvo. Call it denial or whatever you wish, but I didn’t believe he had this becuase I hadn’t seen any blood in his stool what-so-ever. He was still happy as usual; however, that day he was a little less active. Mostly laying around and sleeping and didn’t have hardly any interest in food.

By 10:30 that night we decided to take him into the emergency vet just to be safe becuase I was terrified that he would become dehydrated. The vet said that they were going to test for Parvo but that if it came back negative he thought it was simply just a stomach upset because Harley looked so good.

The results came back 15 mins. later and, needless to say, I was devestated! We had just put our other dog down a month ago and had gone through so much turmoil over that incident that this didn’t seem real. I pretty much hated the world by this point! 🙂

The vet was pretty negative about whether he would survive becuase he was so young and only weighed 15 pounds. We kept him in the hospital overnight and then we were going to make up our minds about what to do the next day. Since we had just spent 0 the month before on our previous dog we were completely tapped out! The vet gave us an estimate for 4 days of treatment for 00. This was astronomically pricey for us- considering that we are basically working poor since I only work part-time right now through school.

We, thankfully, got a loan from my Grandma and were able to keep Harley in the hospital for the full 4 days. Everytime I called to get an update my spirits were crushed. We basically lived for 5 days not knowing whether he would live or die. I didn’t care about anything in between- I didn’t care what it would take- ALL I wanted to know was whether he would make it or not. Period!

Even when he showed signs of progress my vet would remind me that a lot of Parvo puppies have ups and downs and then can go badly very quickly. I understand why they had to be realistic like this with me, and as much as it hurt I did appreciate the honesty.

Over the 4 day span Harley definutely got worse. He was vomitting a lot and had diarrhea so badly that it sprayed all over the inside of his cage. It was bloody and apparently he was extremely depressed. They said he could barley lift his head. As a "mother", this is a VERY emotional time and a VERY difficult thing to hear. I pretty much lived those days with heavy anxiety and very emotionally overwhelmed. I simply could not bare thinking about loosing two of my babies within a 4 week span.

It was touch and go for a while. He would make some progress and then take two steps back. By the 4th day his diarrhea had calmed a bit and the blood was less present. We absolutely had no choice but to take him out of the hospital that night, By this point our bill was now at 00….0 over the original estimate. We took him home that night even though our vet wanted to keep him for at least another day.

I made the choice that I would do anything to nurse him back to heath at home. I bleached my ENTIRE house up and down. This took me countless hours even with the help of a friend. I washed all of the fabrics in my home- even steamcleaning the carpets and couches twice. I’m pretty sure that I went completely overboard, but I was so upset by this sickness that I didn’t want to take any chances. Plus, I wanted Harley to come home to a nice, clean house. We bought all new toys and made a special area for him next to our bed with towels newspapers and potty-pads. Luckily, he didn’t have any dripping diarrhea here though.

The vet told us that since he had survived the 4th day and was showing signs of improvment that
Sorry everyone! I didn’t realize that until just now my story was cut off! Trust me I had a whole lot that was not shown that I wrote along with this.
I am going to try to make this as short as possible- report me if you want- my whole point of posting this was to give hope to someone who is scared for their puppy’s life…..

Since he had shown signs of improvement by the 4th day the vet said that hopefully he would make it. Anyways…long story short- we brought him home and fed him the special diet that the vet recommended of 3-parts plain rice to 1-part cooked unseasoned chicken. This would help to give him protein and harden his stools. It takes about 2 weeks for the dogs to return to normal. Be prepared for when your puppy comes home!! Harley was 15 lbs. when we took him in and 4 days later he was all of 7-8 lbs. Keep them warm. Keep everything clean. Keep everything calm and quiet. If you see any signs of them not eating or drinking a fairly good amount at least call the vet. They can quickly turn downhill again. I was so unaware of Parvo and that unfortunatley caused much headache later on………
There is a saying that breeders have to NEVER LET YOUR PUPPY’S FEET TOUCH THE GROUND UNTIL THEY HAVE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED! Don’t let them around other puppies who are not fully vaccinated. Never take them to public places (stores, parks, etc..) until this is done either. Remember it takes about 2 weeks after their last vaccine to be protected against this virus! If you do find yourself with a case of Parvo- TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! Take them to the vet IMMEDIATELY! They can die within 48 hours of showing their first signs! Do your research! It’s important to understand what you are dealing with. If you do find yourself in this awful spot- KEEP HOPE! Remember that it is out of your hands! Getting your pet in the hospital is the best that you can do. Try and take comfort in that! I seriously thought that Harley was going to pass away but he was our little Christmas miracle! Your pet knows how much you love them even if you can’t be with them! Nothing can take that away from you!…..
Just try to stay strong! Pray, meditate, write, sing, cry, be angry- whatever it takes to keep it together. There is hope! It’s up to you to fight as hard as your little puppy does!

I understand that not all stories end as happy as ours did, but you have to remember that all doggies go to heaven. Parvo is a horrible sickness for both the pet and the owner, and sometimes their little bodies just simply cannot fight this monster.

I truely wish nothing but the best outcome for anyone who is going through this right now. If anyone has any questions about what all comes with fighting Parvo- from a personal standpoint- I would be happy to answer any questions.

Again, I know that not all people would have taken this experience as seriously as I did, but when you feel like I do, that your animals are literally your children, this time can be devestating!
Sorry that this contained no question…but, again, report me if you wish….whatever. My intentions were just to provide a survival story from Parvo – – – like one that I tried so hard to find when we were dealing with it.

And to answer the question about the shelter…we did try to fight them…however, there are many other cases going on with them in this area so mine is not the only one. Trust me, they heard from me and will be again! 🙂 Their claim is that Parvo is one of those viruses that can test negative one day and then positive the next- which is true. So, since we had him for two weeks they are arguing that he caught it AFTER we took him home. The worms are a different situation. There is NO way that he caught those after we got him since he was so badly infected. I have not decided what exactly I am going to do about that yet. I may join the media parade that other families are right now.
Sad that when all you try to do is save a life you end up getting screwed 🙁

Filed under: Kennel Cough Treatment

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