Last week I responded to a Craigslist ad offering another small Pom for rehoming. Since Precious, our little partially blind puppy, may lose her limited vision in the future, I felt getting her a sighted playmate might help her adjust if this happens. So, I made arrangements to meet the lady at a local grocery store parking lot at 7 that evening. When she showed up, I knew I needed to get the puppy out of that environment. Her boyfriend was all tatted up and had no teeth - typical meth head, two unsavory characters were in the back seat and the girl handed me a little blonde Pom dirty, full of fleas and very depressed. I asked if the dog had upset stomach and the girl said that for the past few days she had had upset stomach because they fed her adult food. I knew the puppy was sick. When they asked for $150 rehoming fee I politely told them the dog looked sick and I would give them some grocery money, but certainly not $150! They agreed and I quickly loaded the dog into my truck. I know the money went for something other than groceries, but I knew the dog would die if I didn't get her home.
We were at the vet's office when they opened at 7:30 am the following morning. My suspicious were correct. The dog, named Sadie, had parvo. I've had a lot of parvo experience and I knew her chances were not good. Last year we rescued 8 puppies that had the disease and we beat the odds by saving 6 of them. However, the normal survival rate is less than 50%! Fortunately, I got Sadie in time to save her life. She spent 4 days at the vet, and with aggressive fluid and antibiotic treatment she is now a playful happy puppy.
If you have not vaccinated your dog against parvo, please do it today. Some dogs die with 48 hours of contracting the disease and others may suffer for a few weeks. The biggest problem is dehydration. The dog vomits and has diarrhea. They are too sick to eat or drink and this makes the situation even more dire. The only way to give them enough fluids is through an IV or subcutaneous injections. The virus is highly contagious and you must disinfect thoroughly every day. Bleach is the best way to kill the virus. Use a 1:10 ratio for proper disinfecting. The virus can stay active in the soil for up to 2 years! So be careful where you allow your unvaccinated dog to roam. Even taking a unvaccinated puppy to a place like Petco or Petsmart is dangerous. Vaccinate as soon as possible / spay or neuter as soon as possible - Let's make a difference one dog at a time!