Phoenix-The Parvo Experience
by Christopher Bayhi
Pinky at 9 weeks 02-19-12
My wife and I are COE breeders of Rottweilers and I have contributed to www.a-love-of-rottweilers.com on occasion. I have also bred and trained German Shepherds professionally for 10 years.
People don’t seem to understand the importance of on-time vaccinations. Hopefully, this REAL day-by-day blog about Parvo will open some eyes and may be save at least one puppy’s life.
On 02-22-12 I sold a customer a female Rottweiler named Pinky. She was a happy, healthy 9.5 week old puppy. She weighed about 20 pounds and was up-to-date on all shots and de-worming. She had two series of shots left, was sold on a contract, and we outlined both verbally and in writing when she should get her next shots and de-worming to the buyer.
On 03-12-12 I received a call from the buyer informing me that Pinky had eaten a cherry pop tart and a few gingerbread cookies. The pup was exhibiting symptoms of diarrhea with a reddish tinge and vomiting. I informed the buyer that she should give Pepto Bismol for the upset stomach and monitor the stool. If the pup continued to vomit or have diarrhea, bring her to the vet. I figured the gingerbread caused the upset stomach, and the red dye in the cherry pop tart was the cause of the “red tinged stool”. I had no idea as to the events that were about to unfold.
On 03-13-12 at 09:30 AM I was notified by the buyer that Pinky was at a vet hospital in the Houston area (5 hours from her home) and was diagnosed as having a Parvo. The pup was vomiting, and having brownish stool that started to turn to bloody stool/diarrhea. The buyer also voluntarily stated that she was behind on the 3rd vaccination by a week as she could not afford it.
At about 09:45 AM spoke with Dr. T., at the Pet Hospital and informed her that my wife and I were the breeders of the puppy and understood through a conversation with our buyer that the buyer did not have the financial means to complete proper Parvo treatment. While most breeders would not get involved at this point (the buyer had violated a number of contractual obligations), we offered a Letter of Guarantee of Payment and our personal Vet’s contact information as a reference so care could be started for the pup. We also requested information on Pinky, including prognosis, general disposition, and chance of surviving a 5 hour car ride back to our facility. Pinky was passing blood in a loose stool (50/50) and had thrown up once earlier in the AM. As far as the car ride, a blood test would have to be taken to be sure.
At 2:30 PM Dr. T. called us back and said Pinky’s white blood cell count was “very few” (2.8 with a normal low count of 5.5) and she did not recommend that the puppy be transported for 5 hours. Dr. T. stated if Pinky was able to get around the clock care, survivability would be 50%. But keeping Pinky on an IV over a 5 hour drive was not conducive to a good survival rate. The buyer was notified, became distraught, and asked me what I would do. I informed her that either she could leave the puppy at the hospital or take the chance of a 5 hour drive. But the bottom line was the puppy’s quality of life. The buyer said that she would go to the hospital and speak with Dr. T. abut all of this, including euthanasia.
At 2:55 PM I called the buyer and asked her if she made it to the vet. She was walking in the door and pretty much had her mind made up to have Pinky put down. I told her do not have Pinky euthanized and to let me talk to Dr. T. first. I told Dr. T. that I wanted Pinky to be placed under observation for the night, continue the IV for dehydration, and increase the antibiotics and multivitamin. Dr. T. explained that their clinic was in a nationally known Pet Store chain, and they were not equipped for overnight observation. However, Dr. T. agreed to house Pinky unattended overnight, increase IV fluids, antibiotics, and multivitamins. In the morning, if Pinky survived, a full CBC was to be performed and a white cell count taken. If the white cell count improved, Pinky would be transported to our facility. I also informed Dr. T. about the violation of the contract, the buyer’s mental state, and that I wanted to speak with Dr. T. first, before medical decisions were made. The buyer would make the final decision on her own. Dr. T. agreed and said she understood.
I spoke with the buyer who then informed the vet that she wanted the vet to make first contact with me. I would then in her words “dummy down” the diagnosis for her (she had no medical or veterinary knowledge) so she could make an informed decision. Dr. T. said that would be fine. A vet tech contacted us and verified the plan of treatment an hour later. The total cost so far was $418.17 for one day. A vet visit in our area for a vaccination is $35.00 to $55.00.
I’ll update this blog no matter the outcome. Please stay tuned and send a prayer to Pinky.
Update.... update.... update....
Pinky (aka Phoenix) was one of the lucky ones and has now made a full recovery, to see her happy and healthy once again check out this page.. Phoenix Enjoying Life!