Phoenix-The Parvo Experience

by Christopher Bayhi
(Texas)

Pinky at 9 weeks 02-19-12

Pinky at 9 weeks 02-19-12

Pinky at 9 weeks 02-19-12
Pinky at Hospital on 03-15-12
Pinky at Hospital on 03-15-12
Pinky at Hospital on 03-15-12

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!

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Apr 21, 2012
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See Phoenix happy & healthy again... NEW
by: Sue from a-love-of-rottweilers.com

Chris and Pamela...

Thanks to your tireless efforts (and financial commitments) Phoenix is now fully recovered and has a second chance at life. She's one very lucky little puppy!

Anyone who is following this story, please check out this page to see the latest update... Phoenix Enjoying Life!

Thanks so much for sharing her story.


Apr 09, 2012
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@Nationsmostwanted & Sue NEW
by: Christopher Bayhi

@Nationsmostwanted…The pup was released to the owner under a very strict written contract on her husband’s birthday. Boy did he get a surprise! He wasn’t expecting to see his girl for at least another week. To say he was ecstatic is an understatement!

As the owner did not register Pinky, my wife and I did an AKC LIMITED registration on her. The registration was supposed to be full. But after we showed her our books, the cost of whelping a litter, the time involved, and the fact that she violated the Sales Contract and was irresponsible with continuing the vaccination series, she agreed to a limited registration. The registration lists my wife and me as co-owners. This should protect against their trying to mate her.

Pinky’s name was changed to Phoenix (which seems fitting) which is what the buyer wanted. We have an enforceable secondary contract that the buyer must repay us for medical bills. The pup must be spayed at 12 – 18 months old, and have a Parvo and 3 year rabies booster at 12 months. Once all of that happens we will do a transfer of ownership with the AKC which will then legally make Phoenix the buyer’s dog.

@Sue…No problem. I know you’ve been having a buggy RSS Feed and your hands full. 

Apr 08, 2012
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Good job NEW
by: Nationsmostwanted

So who owns the puppy now? My guess you took ownership of her since the owner wasn't able to pay for the medical bills. Great work and shots are always important

Apr 08, 2012
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What Great News! NEW
by: Sue from a-love-of-rottweilers.com

Chris,
Thanks so much for updating this, I don't think I saw a follow up submission? Sorry, been a bit crazy and have had a few 'technical difficulties' this past week or so.

Anyway, I am SO VERY HAPPY to hear that Phoenix is fully recovered... and obviously that is 95% due to you and your wife's commitment to her veterinary care (the extra 5% is down to Phoenix and her will to live!). She is one very, very lucky little puppy.

I hope your experiences will help to underline the very real danger that Parvovirus poses to all puppies, but particularly to Rottweilers and some other breeds that are immune-deficient when it comes to this disease.

All Rottie owners need to be aware of this illness and know how to recognize Parvo symptoms in puppies.

Thanks again for the time and effort you put in to share this. I know we all appreciate it :)

Apr 05, 2012
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The End of the Parvo Experience NEW
by: Christopher Bayhi

Apparently the update did not get posted so I’ll post it here. After the pup arrived at our place it was touch and go. My vet assisted me with medications, IV bags, tubing and some other items I was out of. He did not think the pup would make it. With the help of my wife, I dealt with a 2” blood clot stuck in the catheter (removed safely), multiple cases of explosive diarrhea, Sub-Q injections that did not want to be injected, a needle stick to my thumb, and a continuous stream of contaminated clothing, bedding and other items that had to be washed in bleach twice a day.

At the vet visit on 03-24-12 the vet didn’t believe the progress that was made. We started her on a gruel of goat’s milk mixed with baby rice and Karo syrup. That didn’t work. We tried canned food and moistened puppy food. That didn’t work either. We went back to the vet because the catheter started leaking. A new one was started in her other leg, and she was given a diet of I/D and A/D food. That did it. She almost ate the tongue depressor the vet served it to her on! A few days later I called the vet to give him a progress report and asked if I could discontinue the IV fluids as she was drinking on her own with no more diarrhea. The vet agreed and the IV was discontinued but the catheter was left in and the splint was left on just in case.

At the vet visit on 03-31-12 she gained a few pounds and was eating & drinking well and had constant hard stools for a few days. Therefore, the vet agreed with me that the catheter should come out and the splint should come off. He also looked at a very large cyst on her right shoulder. It developed because of all the Sub-Q injections the pup received in Houston. I was told to watch it and call if there was a problem. Three days later it ruptured. My wife and I muzzled the pup, I shaved the area where it was draining and started to express the fluids. We got about 15cc’s to 20cc’s of puss and other fluid out of her. I called the vet and informed him of the development. He agreed with me that the wound should be left open to drain. Otherwise, the pup was starting to act like a typical 14 week old puppy.

Our final vet visit was today, 04-05-12. The pup received a clean bill of health. She will be going home soon. She received her rabies vaccination and final 5 way vaccination. Total cost for care was cheap at just under $1,000.00. However, this is because the puppy was in the constant care of the breeder (me and my wife), and not at a vet hospital. If the pup would have been confined at the vet’s office the bill would have been in the $3,000 range if not more. I think the vet said it best at the end of our visit today. He said “Chris, I can’t believe it. You have done the impossible. No one here thought that pup was going to make it.” Bottom line is that people MUST vaccinate their puppies on-time EVERY TIME!

Mar 27, 2012
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Continued in Parvo Experience II NEW
by: Christopher Bayhi

The story continues with Phoenix-The Parvo Experience II. It might not be up yet as Sue the website owner must approve the post first.

Mar 27, 2012
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So sad NEW
by: Nationsmostwanted

That's terrible. How's The puppy now? Hopefully made it. I don't understand by people buy a dog and don't have finances to care of it.

Mar 23, 2012
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Pinky Continued 03-14-12 to 03-16-12 NEW
by: Christopher Bayhi

03-14-12 I spoke with Dr. T., was informed Pinky was getting worse. No movement in her cage overnight vomited and had explosive diarrhea with 70% blood. The buyer went to see her that afternoon. Pinky perked up, lifted her head and tried to give her puppy kisses. I called back for an update in the PM and asked the Dr. to run another blood test to get a white cell count. The Dr. said she would leave instructions for the staff to perform the test in the AM on the 15th because she would be of that day.

03-15-12 things went down hill. The nurse called me at 8:00 AM. Pinky was lethargic. During her morning visit, Pinky responded to the buyer by just moving her eyes but not lifting her head. There was explosive diarrhea with 70% blood, no vomiting. The CBC was never done as Dr. T. forgot to leave orders to have one done. We decided to continue care as planned. I asked the nurse if the IV was being delivered along with anti-nausea and antibiotics. I was told “Yes”. I asked that the nurse start sub-Q (under the skin) hydration and 0.5% glucose be added to the IV. I was told the Dr. would have to give authorization for my requests. I then expressed my "displeasure" that since I was the person paying for the bill, I would have thought the staff, including the Doctor, would have done what was requested (meaning the CBC) unless it was contradictory to a positive outcome.

03-16-12 Pinky is worse, not responding at all. The nurse said she looked comatose. The buyer went to see her and she wouldn’t open her eyes. Pinky just laid in that cold stainless steel cage motionless. After a little coaxing, Pinky opened her eyes, lifted her head slightly and wagged her little nub of a tail! I knew my buyer was that puppy’s strength and Phoenix needed personal care that the hospital staff couldn't provide. Later that evening I asked Dr. T. if IV fluids were still being pushed. She said yes. I asked her about the CBC. The white blood cell count was down to 2.2, a 0.6 drop from a few days ago. The vet then told me that she did not think Pinky would survive another night. I asked her if Pinky would survive a 5 hour car ride and she said “Not likely, no. She’ll probably die." I asked her to prep Pinky for transport. I called the buyer who was on “stand by” since all this started. She was at the hospital in 10 minutes, ready to go. They made her wait 2 hours to release Pinky. The IV line was removed but the catheter was left in so I could restart the IV. As my buyer loaded Pinky in her vehicle, the puppy vomited. No one at the vet hospital offered to help her clean up or even offer her a paper towel. Total cost to date was just under $500.00.

Updates to continue. Please stay tuned and send a prayer to Phoenix.

Mar 22, 2012
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O-M-G.... NEW
by: Tanya

poor little Pinky, my prayers are with her for a safe recovery and for you to reclaim her from this situation.

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