A Foster’s Story of Battling Parvo


Animals in Need, Fostering Pets, Fundraising / Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
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What’s worse than one Parvo puppy?  Seven Parvo puppies!

I received the desperate plea for help from Homeward Bound WV—six Husky mix puppies needed a qualified foster to take them into their home and care for them.  A 7th pup was very sick when the rescue volunteer picked them up at their location, and upon arriving at the vet had tested positive with a bad case of Parvovirus and had to be euthanized.

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract and attacks the white blood cells.”

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Six healthy puppies had been exposed to the deadly virus and if/when they got sick would need round the clock medical care.  If a vet stay was required, that cost alone could range from $2,000-$6,000 per puppy—but we had six to contend with. I had experience with Huskies and know their difficult temperaments so I instantly felt the need to step in and help save these pups. After consulting with my family, I brought home six, very healthy and happy puppies.

20150717_182341_resizedWe quickly learned each of their personalities. My youngest child attached herself to the runt and named her Pompeii.  So we chose to name the remaining pups after favorite Italian cities:  Pompeii, Florence, Sicily, Milan, Verona, and Rome (which was changed to Romeo over time for the many kisses he gives).

After a few days of quarantined puppy play, we started to see some signs of Parvo.  We separated 2 pups from the rest of the group due to bloody stools.  We were also battling worms and parasites which can compromise the pups immune system and thereby giving the pups less of a chance to beat the virus.  The next day, the pups were lethargic and refusing to eat and drink.  We returned to the vet to have them examined.  In addition to the antibiotics and dewormers and probiotics, the pups received pain shots, subcutaneous fluids, and a new prescription of Tamiflu.

We literally started giving round the clock care to this sick group.  Medications were being administered twice a day in 3 hour spans. Pedialyte was being given every 4 hours and sub-Q fluids were injected throughout the day and night.  Puppy food was being watered down and fed by syringe. After a few days of this treatment these few pups started feeling better, but unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.

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Around day 5, we had three more puppies start Parvo symptoms. These guys were really hit hard by the virus. We started seeing bloody vomit as well as bloody stools and severe dehydration. We took a trip back to the vet who gave the pups anti-vomiting shots and increased their sub-Q fluid dosages. However, on day 8 we lost one of the sick pups–Little Milan was a small, fuzzy guy slightly over 3 pounds but he wasn’t able to fight against the damage that Parvo was doing to his system.

20150727_101224_resizedOne of his other sick-mates, Romeo, was also headed for the worst. I spent the next few days crying for this guy because I thought his fate would be the same as his brother.  We went back to the vet a few days later when he seemed to have plenty of hydration and was eating a little on his own but was still not back on his feet.  The vet said some dog’s bodies will distribute fluids differently and in Romeo’s case, it had gone to the joints in his legs and it was painful for him to walk but with a little in-home physical therapy he would be fine.

Romeo is still in recovery from Parvo but getting better every day.  The rest of the remaining puppies are also doing well and getting back to their normal, playful selves. They are still receiving meds and will still remain in quarantine for another few weeks as their bodies continue to shed the virus.  Until then, we have areas they can play and get some exercise while we wait until they’re well enough to find their “furever” homes!

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Due to the on-going vet visits and the numerous medications and fluids these puppies required, our bills have exceeded $2,000. This number will continue to climb as they continue to need after-care and special puppy foods for their delicate systems. We have a donation fund set up to help cover the costs of battling Parvo. If you are able to give, please go to http://www.youcaring.com/homeward-bound-wv-inc-401154.

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