Parovirus Nightmear!


This weekend started off really good. We had been watching a couple of dogs, we were staying at a different house …just really enjoying the family time and being away from the everyday. It was a good couple nights.

However, Sunday rolled around with a somber note. One of the dogs we were watching was very sick. She had been a little sick earlier in the week but it seemed just like she had ate something or having anxiety about not being with her owner. But Sunday morning she seemed much worse…she wasn’t moving, very lethargic and with severe diarrhea  that was black…it was just falling out of her while she lay on the floor. Well being that this was FAR from a normal activity for any dog , made the choice to get her into the vet, emergency vet being Sunday. We made the arrangements with the owners who were on their way home from out of town, but would not be back for several hours so that we could get the dog in before they got home.


I took her in, My husband had to stay with our son so I was alone. When we got there they took a stool sample and tested it for Parvo… it came back negative but the good news stopped there. They told me it was probably a false negative and that they were still treating her as a probable parvo case.  They then took blood (mind you this is all spanning over hours that we were there), the poor dog didn’t even move as they tried to get her blood….they had issues with that because her blood pressure was so low and her temp was low as well. She made one sound the whole time and it was barely a noise. After that they wrapped her up in towels and stuck some hot water bottles under her to help her temp rise then they went to another emergency. Leaving me alone in the room with her.


I had been pacing the room, worried about a lot of things, when I heard her let out a short loud (as loud as a small dog can) bark, when I looked at her, her tongue was hanging out of her mouth and she wasn’t breathing….I had to open the door and call down the hall to someone to come…. She had died, sort of. There was no heart beat one minute and then the next there was, they took her to another room to incubate her and help her live…this after I had to call the owners and see what they wanted to do and how far they wanted to go to keep her alive.  The vets got her breathing on her own for a while, but it wasn’t long before I had to make another call to ask what to do should she crash again… the answer was grim but had to be, 1,500 dollars is a lot to put into a dog that will probably not make it anyway.


A short time later I was informed that she had passed on….again I had to call up the owners and tell them and have them speak to the vet about what to do next. I spent my time there mostly in tears…for the poor dog I was in there for and for my own puppy who was now in danger of going through the same thing.


What a horrible day it was. I was at the vet from 2:30pm until after 7pm just to walk out without a dog and a head full of worry and questions. I have a puppy that has only had one set of shots, she was exposed to the other dog everyday this past week! Her chances of getting it are high, but thankfully, it seems from information I have gotten, her chances of  surviving it are high as well should she get it. We also have that we will be able to catch it early on our side…I know what to look for , now.


Today is Monday, I will be taking my dog into the vet this afternoon. Originally it was for shots, but the vet is concerned for her…as am I. He wants to check her stool, that as I discovered this morning is loose, not good. I can’t tell if she is being her usual lazy self or isn’t feeling well, I would say that my gut tells me she is not feeling well, but I know that she may be sick…so it may be and it may be just worry. She is, otherwise, seeming to be ok, she ate this morning and all that…but I am concerned about the two times she went pooh this morning…that is not normal for her, at least not as far as having the same large piles of it. If it had been less stool, then yeah I would think it was ok, but the fact is that it was a normal size pile both times….just a little less…solid. Thing is, today marks one day shy of a week for her exposure to Parvo, they say a week to 14 days for signs of it….I just hope that if she does have it, that I am seeing the signs now, we have better chances this way.


 I am really worried about her…I know our chances of saving her look good, but after watching a dog go through this and dying already I can’t say that I am optimistic about it. I am hoping and praying that she is fine…that we will walk away from this still having a dog, this dog, to grow up with my son, to be my daily companion, my walking buddy.


I know that some people think of dogs as “just dogs”, or simply creatures to bow at their feet…but I think of them as family. I know the difference, don’t get me wrong, between dogs and people and who is more significant…if my son was in danger and it was the dog or my son ….without thought I would go for my son first and hope that we can save the dog! But no matter, my dog does mean a great deal to me and right now she is the only one in danger.


Right now all I can do is hope and pray that Leia doesn’t have it and that if she does we catch it in time to save her life. I can’t go through what I did yesterday again….and not with my own dog, it was hard enough with someone else’s. So worried that even my body feels it! I  am still sore from yesterday…well in part anyway. My whole body aches today (even waking in the night with cramps in my legs), I have had a sore back since Saturday but after yesterday I am really hurting bad, I need to go back to sleep and I need to find out what is, if anything, going on with my baby dog and then follow the next steps after that. So much, I know that somewhere someone is thinking “Don’t think about it, don’t worry” but it is hard to NOT think about it especially when you are waiting for answers, especially when you have seen what it can do and know that it may happen again. So please don’t tell me to not worry, and to not think about it. Besides, people always say that and no one, ever NOT thinks about the issues at hand! If you can do that I solute you!


Anyway Let this be a word of warning to any who slack on getting their animals vaccinated fully…you never think it will happen to your dog, think that it is ok to wait or put off the shots (even the second set), but it isn’t. You never know who else thought that then came around you and your baby with a sick animal, or what they are sniffing up their noses when they are exploring on your daily walks, or even in your own back yard! I don’t mean to sound like an activist or anything but please make sure to get your animals the proper care…I made a mistake and someone else made one that has killed one dog and put two more at risk. I just think about how if The little dog who died had not gotten sick this week, that we had not known what signs and what of, that we could very well have lost our dog without ever knowing why really…we may still if our efforts don’t do much, as that can happen. Parvo can be survived, but it is never a guarantee that it will.


What I learned this week to look for….Vomiting, diarrhea, lack of eating and drinking, animal being lethargic. It started with vomiting, lack of eating (I thought due to the vomiting) got better, then got bad and then worse and finally ended on a very sad note. If your dog(any animal really) has even ONE of the symptoms it is a good idea to find out why and fast…let the vets know if there has been a lack of vaccinations it could save your animals life. Another thing to think about…the clean up, We have had to go through the house and clean all the carpets where the little dog had been, we can’t let the two animals in the yard or on our deck…anywhere that the dog touched we have had to clean with BLEACH to try and kill this nasty virus, may have to get rid of our mattress…and it may have been fruitless to do so if my puppy is infected. Parvo can stay in your yard for up to a YEAR! Think about THAT! If you just moved into a house, got a dog and keep putting off shots…they could get infected just from going outside in your back yard….that goes for anyone really…how many strays are out there? A lot and God only knows which ones have something. Better safe then sorry….sorry really bites, and I am extremely sorry that I didn’t do what I should have, or asked more questions before watching someone’s pet for them!  

dreamin2183 dreamin2183
22-25, F
1 Response Aug 20, 2007

Parvo really is a bad thing to deal with! My family has had to put down a whole litter of pups for it. Not a highlight in one's life! People DO need to be made more aware of diseases like this and others. And even be cautious of taking in strays. THanx for this story and bringing some awareness to this subject! Hope your pooch is having a false alarm! Best of luck!