Dogs are no less than kids to their parents, they bring them up just like their own babies. This emotional connection between parents and their pets is something that can’t be described in words!
But, this parenting journey is not as easy as it looks like. Just like human babies, young dogs also need proper attention and care throughout their period of growth. This includes regular vaccination, diet, and proper medical attention in difficult times.
A lack of proper care may sometimes lead to consequences that are irrevocable!
Young pups are tender and prone to catch diseases from the environment around them. One of the most common infections found in pups is Canine Parvovirus, which is hazardous to the level of your pooch’s life.
What is Canine Parvovirus?
Parvovirus is every new puppy and dog parent’s worst nightmare!
In a matter of days, a perfectly healthy puppy can go from playful and active to fatally ill.
Parvo is a highly contagious virus. It causes an infectious gastrointestinal (GI) illness in puppies and young dogs, and without treatment, it is potentially deadly.
Part of what makes the virus so dangerous is the ease with which it is spread through the canine population. The virus spreads either by direct contact with an infected dog, or through feces, and an infected dog can begin shedding the virus four-to-five days after exposure- often before the dog starts exhibiting any clinical signs of infection. The dog will continue to shed the virus while he is sick and for up to 10 days after he has recovered. This means that accurate diagnosis and quarantine are essential for the health of your dog and of other dogs, as well.
The majority of cases are seen in puppies that are between six weeks and six months old. However, the risk of canine parvovirus infection can be controlled by early vaccination in young puppies.
The major symptoms associated with the intestinal form of a canine parvovirus infection include:
- Severe, bloody diarrhea
- Severe weight loss
An irreparable loss of Baby Zoey
Parvovirus, probably one of the most deathly of diseases that our furry friends can catch is what took our baby girl Zoey away from us in just 5 days of homecoming.
After many many years of asking dad why we couldn’t bring home a baby pup, and feeling like the most unlucky person ever because we didn’t have the love of a puppy, we finally decided to get one home. We had a choice amongst 4 Shih Tzu puppies, but this little ball of joy came home first to meet us and we instantly fell in love with her and there was no question of another. And hence, baby girl Zoey became a part of the family!
A super playful pup, who showered us with unconditional love from the first day onwards, she was nothing less than a lil’ cute stuff toy but only cuter with her warm cuddles. Instantly the centre of attention in the house, this one was keeping all of us on our toes! She came home and for some three days things were perfectly fine and she was jumping around and playing so much that my mum literally had to tell her to calm down and relax but it’s like she had a spring in her bum that just kept her going and running around in the house with her little hop skip run! What a cute baby!
The very next day of her homecoming we took her for her first checkup to the vet and we were told she’s a healthy puppy and we’re to get her on the following Sunday for her vaccination done. Sounded like a perfect remark from a vet, and we were super excited to spend the upcoming 12-15 years minimum with her!
Little did we know that her health here onwards will only go downhill. On the third day, she stopped eating much and started becoming super lethargic. On the fourth day, we took her to the vet and got her a drip of glucose because she’d gotten dehydrated, followed by another drip in an emergency that night when she pooped blood. And we were told to bring her in again in the morning for a Parvovirus test.
None of us were aware about what this virus is, on doing research we got to know that it’s a fatal disease and barely 40% dogs survive it, though small pups have it even worse if their vaccination isn’t in order. And little did we know, Zoey’s vaccination was not in order. And so it was super easy for her to pick it up from any other pup having the same infection.
The first main sign of this virus is dogs stop eating and start being super lethargic, but the one thing that should get your super worried is when they poop blood. That’s exactly what our baby girl did, and hence we got her drips again. On doing the test it came positive, That’s what Zoe did on 14th night and we had to rush her into emergency and get a drip put right then. And even after the drip, she continued pooping blood and puking too. On the 15th when we took her to the vet in the morning, he checked for Parvo and my baby girl’s test came positive for it, leading to a series of emotions and questions in our heads but all of which were overpowered by a whole lot of praying and only praying for Zoey’s health and well being. The vet said we’re not to give her any food or water for 10 days and only bring her in for drips twice a day.
Imagine such a baby not getting any food or water for 10 days!
The blood poop continued for the rest of the evening and at night again we took her for drip, and once we brought her back she wouldn’t do anything else but sleep. She got so weak that she wasn’t even able to lift her head up at all!
The whole night my mum and I lay right next to her, and kept praying that she feels better, only to have her stop breathing and pass away in our arms on the morning of 16th May. Leaving a huge hole in our heart, my baby left us in just 5 days!!
The purpose behind me writing this is because right after Zoey passed away, we got to know about another pup that passes away within 5 days of coming home because of the same disease. And not many people know about the disease, even though they are pet parents.
We still don’t know where baby Zoey got the virus from, since neither did we ever have another pet at home nor did she go anywhere else other than the vets’. That’s a mystery that we’re not able to solve, but please be careful when you get a pup home, make sure that all the vaccinations are in order.
I’d like to do is spread awareness about this fatal disease because the way our family was heart broken, I really wouldn’t want yours to be. Plus I’d pray to God every day that no other puppy ever gets Parvo because it’s the hardest to see them get drips and then go just like this without even giving us time to say goodbye.!
About the Author
The author and mother of Baby Zoey, Kishneet Sethi wants to create awareness for Canine Parvovirus so that no parent and their little kid will ever have to face this miserable phase and the pain of separation!