Angelika's story is the story of one little Rottweiler puppy's parvo experience... it's frightening, heart-warming, and eye-opening.
Luckily for Angelika it also has a happy ending. But if it weren't for her momma's quick thinking and responses this adorable little girl would probably have died.
Parvo is a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners type of virus, and Rottweilers are one of the breeds most at risk of catching it, and dying from it.
Angelika is a Rottweiler puppy who was unlucky enough to catch Canine Parvovirus from a puppy who visited her home just once. The photo at the top of this page is Angelika 'helping' on Christmas morning, before she got sick.
However, she was one of the rare and lucky ones, and her story has a happy ending..... and that happy ending is due in huge part to her owner's prompt action.
Angelika's story was shared with me, and all the visitors to this website, by her owner Sherry.
We shared Sherry's fears, prayed for them both, and then shared in the relief and joy as Angelika fought off the virus and was able to go home.
I have taken excerpts and photos from Sherry's almost daily updates, and have focused on the most important and relevant parts.
"Hi, I really don't have a specific question right now..... merely a request for my sick 9 week old Rottweiler pup, Angelika AKA: Angel.
husband got me the puppy I so badly wanted after losing my Rott Roc this
past summer, for Christmas. I was so happy when he walked in the door, I
cried...I am 48 and this is still hard for me to control when I am so
happy. I really didn't think we could afford it, but he did find a way.
Well, the problem started when one of my son's brought over a neighbor's puppy that they were caring for.... the next evening he called and told us about the puppy going down with Parvo. My heart sank. I had dealt with a very bad bout several years back that tore me apart...out of 4 pups under age 2, I was able to save 1.
Those were some of the most horrible few weeks of my life and for those pups! I refused to have a puppy near our home for almost 2 years to make sure. Again, we seemed safe and had no problems...until this. Well, knowledge was my friend I hoped.
About 9 days later it started...she started throwing up..fear gripped my heart...I watched carefully, she threw up again after only a little water...it was happening. Really bad timing, we have all been sick and I have been very sick because of complicated respiratory problems anyway, but my pup was more important so in spite of fevers myself and needing to be in bed, I was up all night with her.
I kept her warm (we had just been hit with an ice storm...no going anywhere at that time), gave her a little kaopectate I had on hand when she threw up and water a little at a time about every 30 minutes till about 3 am. At this time, Angelika let me know she wanted to go to bed...I picked her up gently and we went to bed to get a few hours of sleep. By 6 we were up and at it again.
By 8 my husband was on the phone with a vet friend of his (wish that helped on the costs that are coming) because I had done enough research online to find out that because of her breed, she was even more susceptible than the breeds I had dealt with before...and I don't do very well with losing.
Off to the vet by 9 and arrived by 10 (we live in the country). Angelika was still very attentive and doing remarkably well and even walking on her own, but I know too much and didn't want to take any chances.
That was yesterday morning and we are far from out of the woods even though the vet is even more hopeful than when we got there simply telling us statistics and yes even suggesting euthanization (hope that is spelled right). Again, I let them know I could not give up on her.
She has been on Antibiotics, IV and an anti-nausea med since about 12 hours after the first sign of onset that I could honestly tell (and I am very overly protective of little things...have raised many pups, cats, birds, raccoons, and even squirrels with much success among other things too. Even helped an owl get strong enough to go back to the wild once. Life is precious...including God's little creatures.
We really can't afford the vet bill, but I just don't see where we can't afford not to incur it to give Angelika a fighting chance! Fortunately, the vet is willing to work with us on the final bill...
As it stands, she is still doing very well...still very responsive and alert and the signs are still mild according to the vet, compared to what I have seen. The vet says that the next couple of days will tell a lot and I know this all too well from experience. My only real question is...Will you please pray for little Angelika?
She is the most precious little girl with a great personality already showing. From the first night here she completely accepted our family and has never whined in loneliness. Overnight, she immediately decided this was home and has been our little princess.
I don't care who thinks it is silly to pray over an animal...honestly we are all God's creatures and they deserve the prayers just as much, if not more at times, as people. I have been so careful for this not to happen again and now here I go again with such a precious part of our family and my dream dog.
The picture isn't the best but shows how quickly she became part of the family in only about 36 hours and wanted to help my grand-daughter's open their present Christmas morning.
We know she will love it here even more as she grows because we she will have access to 160 acres of land here to roam that our previous Rottweiler Roc loved so much too. And with the many other animals here, life will never be lonely... someone (mostly me) is always home to be a companion and love her.
Please keep Angelika in your prayers!'
UPDATE Jan 12: 'As of this morning, she is still alert and responsive, fevers are not bad and nor has anything changed from yesterday other than they told me that she is a little more depressed.'
UPDATE Jan 13: 'I got permission to come visit Angelika for a few minutes today. The moment she saw me, she lifted her head and tried to get up, which really surprised me, but made me feel so good to know she does have fight. Her eyes were almost clear, but very tired looking. She is a bit skinnier, but not overly so really for what she has been through this week. She knows we have not abandoned her and I know she is definitely a fighter. There is a lot of good that came out of today, but please keep up the prayers as she isn't completely out of the woods yet...'
UPDATE Jan 16: 'Well, my little girl is a fighter in spirit. She is still hanging on and starting to react more each day. Vet is starting to give her some high dose vitamins (whatever she will hold on her stomach) in hopes of helping with energy. She still has her IV in and getting the fluids, Antibiotics and a lighter anti-nausea med. I am trying to be realistic about this virus and understand that all could be for nothing except a heartache in the end. Until she comes home and I see her eating and drinking on her own, I know she still needs all the prayers, love and attention she can get to make it through.'
UPDATE Jan 18: 'I went to visit Angelika yesterday afternoon and again was encouraged. She is not bleeding anymore and hasn't for the past couple of days. Her eyes are still very clear looking, but sad. She was genuinely happy to see me and it showed. We have been informed that she looks better today than she has and they will be force feeding her through today and tomorrow. As long as she holds the food down and continues with the improvements, she will be allowed to come home on Thursday! At this point, my heart is ecstatic and extremely hopeful! I want so much to believe that she is on the mend and has made it through, but I still know anything can happen. We have a long way to go before that little pup will be bouncing around again. After almost 9 days of no real food and mainly surviving on an IV, she is a shell of her little playful, bouncing, roly-poly self, but once we get her home, I do know how to get her back on track and will work hard to do so.'
UPDATE Jan 19: 'Great news... Angelika is coming home! Her vet says that she will be released to come home tomorrow.She will still be on meds for infection and anti-nausea with a special diet for a few days to a week, but she has made it past the worst of the storm and is on the mend!'
'Angelika made it through the Parvo. I picked her up this morning at the
vets'. After 10 days in the hospital, she looks much better than I
She is on bed rest and meds with a special diet (a canned high protein and vitamin stuff from the vet) including some yogurt with tummy bacteria.
She does not like the food they want her to eat but I found she will gladly eat plain cooked meat... I am cheating on this and giving her what she will eat and making her take some of the yogurt and other food but have added a liquid vitamin just for dogs and puppies to make sure she is getting the nutrition she needs to recover.
I figure what energy she does have is better spent eating than fighting to eat.
We will return to the vet at the end of next week to follow up and give her next booster shot which will be right at her 12 weeks on that Saturday. Please, Please, I cannot stress enough not to skip giving these puppies their shots regularly and not letting anyone bring any puppies around them until they have completed their first series of shots...that means not until after they are 4 months old and had their 4th shot!
Please, please take this very seriously as Parvo is a killer! I have seen it's ugliness first hand and that is why Angelika was rushed so quickly to the vet.
The vet says that the only reason my puppy lived is probably because we were aware that she was exposed and we reacted quickly to keeping her hydrated and trying to calm her stomach until we could get her into the vet within 12 hours of onset.
They really could not believe she made it through as sick as she was, but home she is now and the recovery is ahead of her.
Thank you so very much for all the prayers...Prayer does work miracles! Even for animals! I am including a picture of Angelika this afternoon and will post another in about a week to show her progress. Keep those prayers coming.
Also, if there are any suggestions for helping her mend, please make them as I do so want to give her the best care I can possibly give her...she has been through so very much these past 10 days.'
'Just an update and to show a few pictures. Angelika is doing much
better after her bout with Parvo and 10 days in the hospital.
She is now eating and drinking very well on her own and we are down to just a couple of days left on meds. I will continue to give her the vitamins as I have really liked the way they have seemed to help her bounce back.
She is up more and a little playful at times now.
Still not the bouncing puppy we are looking for, but each day brings her back to us a little more.
I am afraid she has become quite spoiled through this and knows she has been queen for the past several days since coming home. She whines when she wants up on the couch or bed and not in her bed. Right now, I don't mind to much as it is easier for her to whine than spend what energy she has trying to jump up.
Actually, because of how pulled down she is, I don't really want her jumping much anyway so as not to cause any harm to her little growing body. I have been encouraging her to take it easy and stay fairly settled to give her little body time to heal.
Her tummy does not look all sunk in as it did when I picked her up, but it is just a little better than that now but at least it is showing signs of filling out again.
She is walking stronger each day and her
legs don't look as weak and skinny, but still have a long way to go as
you can tell by the picture taken this morning of her sitting.
She has started eating a little of her regular puppy food softened with water but still mostly on her soft diet.
Her stools have finally started looking normal this morning without any diarrhea at all...yippee!
There were some points where I was concerned this weekend, but they didn't last long and quickly remedied themselves... probably just me over worrying as I have a tendency to do this over the least little thing at times like this.
There is a picture of her snug as a bug in her little bed...hope she doesn't try to make us keep a box for her as she grows...ha, ha That has been her safe zone from the grandchildren, while still being able to watch everything going on... we do have a busy household. She spends a lot of time awake now, but tucked away in her box, just watching the cats and little dog and grandchildren.
Today, she is not spending so much time there though and venturing out quite a bit more to be nosy and insist that everyone pet her. The sparkle is coming back a little more every day and today it is showing more than before...
I am so thrilled to say...Angelika is definitely out of the woods and going to have the chance to enjoy her home with all the other animals and 160 acres to roam thanks to all the prayers on her behalf!
Sue thanks for such a great site!'
Hello All My Rottweiler Loving Friends! Sorry I haven't sent an update on little Angelika lately...life has been busy and she has been a handful.
Thank God! and all of you for your prayers!
She is now going to be 15 weeks tomorrow (Saturday 2/19/2011) and back to being a very nosey, playful, bouncing, biting, joyfully entertaining pup again.
We have finally gotten her back on her standard food with just treats of the meat that she was getting to help her recover. All is well.
We waited until the second week after getting her home before taking her back into the vet for her next shot. She really did need that extra week in my book...thanks for the tidbit of advice Sue.
At the vet, she was given a clean bill of health and started back on the normal routine of shots and care. The vet even said she was really surprised at how well she was doing.
Angelika is now in process of learning tricks and obedience with a vengeance. I say it like that, because this little pup is so smart...we simply start a trick and within a couple of tries, she gets it.
At first I thought we would have to keep working at it through each session...no, this pup learns them quickly...the next session, she knows exactly what you want from the word and hand signals I give her.
She has already learned: sit, speak, shake and other paw. She understands and responds very well to her name, come, no bite and no and I am glad to say she is almost completely housebroken.
Still a little rowdy sometimes, so I have not started with stay too much yet...though she does seem to understand when I go out the door and tell her to stay that she is not allowed to go with me. She is such a joy!
Angelika's bout with Parvo is definitely over! Yipee!!!
I am so very thankful for the knowledge that I already had of this awful virus that made me act quickly when the first signs started. Also, it helped that my son let me know she had been exposed as soon as he knew...he was so apologetic about it.
During her hospital stay, he was constantly checking with me on her progress. She never would have made it as sick as she had gotten during those 10 days in the hospital without the aggressive care of a great vet and the wonderful prayers of all you guys. I believe in prayers!
Please be aware that even though Diarrhea is usually the first sign, in Angelika, throwing up was the first sign. She threw up...I watched on guard...she drank some water a few minutes later and then immediately threw up again...that is when I knew it had started.
When this started, I started administering kaopectate (about 1/4 teaspoon) when she threw up and I used an injector syringe that comes with some of the turkey injector marinades and would give her about 1/2 a syringe (about 1 ounce) at a time...little by little so as not to overdo it.
We spent that night doing this about every 30 minutes and only giving kaopectate when she threw up.
I would recommend to new puppy parents that you might consider purchasing some things like pedialyte and kaopectate or pepto bismol to keep on hand just in case. Then, off to the vet first thing the next morning...we would have taken her that night except that we had an ice storm that night and couldn't drive on our roads until later the next morning.
I am posting some new pictures so you can see that she is really on the mend. You can see that her weight is back...we will find out at the first of the month whether she is back on track with her weight.
My opinion is that she is there from her looks. What do you guys think? Also, you can see in the background of the pics that she has a very large backyard to play in...and she loves it!
Angelika is definitely a little Miracle Puppy! She has been one heck of a fighter through all of this and is proving to be the best little pup we have ever had in our home!
You can read the full version of Angelika's Story including all the comments made by other visitors to this site on these pages...
I hope Angelika's Story, and the rest of the information on this page, has given you some insight into how serious Parvo in dogs can be, and how important it is to seek veterinary attention IMMEDIATELY if you even think your pup may be infected.
Although, even with early diagnosis and treatment there is no guarantee a puppy will survive Canine Parvovirus, if more puppy owners could recognize parvo symptoms quickly, and get their puppies treatment immediately, I truly believe that there could be more happy endings just like Angelika's.
Although there's no cure for Parvo, you can protect your precious puppy by making sure that he/she is given the right puppy vaccinations, at the right times.
Generally there are 3 sets of combo vaccines (treat several illnesses at once), given at 3 week intervals.
Rottweilers and other vulnerable breeds need a fourth Parvo shot at around 16 weeks.
Also, be very vigilant about preventing your pup coming in contact with any unvaccinated puppies or dogs (Angelika's near-death experience was triggered by one short visit with a neighbors puppy) or areas where other unvaccinated dogs may have been.