New Additions 2.. Parvo!
Ok, so not really, but seriously at the same time.
Our second new edition to the family is my new dog, Odin. I picked him up from a town in the country opposite us from Dallas. He was 6 weeks and a happy, healthy puppy. Jon and I had initially seen a ginger pup that we really liked and hoped fit our family, but I knew this guy would be perfect as soon as I saw him. He’s part Alaskan Malamute and part Arctic Wolf.
Not long after I brought him home he started throwing up and had really bad diarrhea. It was the worst thing I’d ever smelled. We had a vets appointment the next day for shots so I casually mentioned to my vet the other symptoms he was having, thinking it was merely a change in diet or environment. Then I got the talk.. the “there’s a 50% chance he will live” talk. The vet performed the test in the office and five minutes later we had a positive result. The vet gave me medication (Amoxicillin drops and anti-diarrheal gel) but advised that if Odin couldn’t keep the medication down he’d have to come in for IV treatment, at $150/day.
Now, I’d heard of Parvo in the past, and I knew it was bad news, but I had no idea how bad. Luckily I was WFH because I work so far that it’s a pain to have to drive all the way home just for the vet. I researched everything I could about Parvo and was shocked, but better informed. Unfortunately, during the same time I had this nagging cough that would later turn into the flu.
At first Odin was taking the medication fine. I was able to fill his Amoxi syringe with Gatorade (no Pedialyte in these parts) and force feed him Gatorade every hour or so to keep him hydrated. The thing with Parvo is that the dog can die of dehydration/starvation long before anything else. Everything seemed to be going good. He was actually interested in eating. Then he started vomiting again. He couldn’t keep his medicine down. Overnight he went from a healthy pup to a sack of bones. I rushed him to the vet, in tears, and had him admitted for 24-hour IV treatment. He was on this for several days, during which I was experiencing the worst sickness I’ve ever had. I finally got to the point where I had to make the decision to pick him up, regardless of whether or not he was completely ready. I’d exhausted a big chunk of our savings by then. He came home Saturday morning and the vet said he seemed to be doing better. He threw up 2 times and didn’t seem interested in eating, so I thought I was being prepared for another relapse. However, by Sunday he was doing much better.
Unfortunately, Parvo is a big waiting game. Generally, it takes anywhere from 7 to 10 days to start to show symptoms of Parvo. Symptoms usually last 5 to 7 days. It took no time at all for our pup to lose almost all of his weight. Because we have 2 other dogs (both adults) we took them in for a booster, just in case, and are keeping the dogs separated for a few weeks. If you’ve had a run-in with Parvo, you should know that it’s a monster to kill. You need a 1:30 bleach/water solution indoors. You can also bleach your lawn at 50:50. Yes, it will kill the grass, but you’re better off not spreading this killer. More info about Parvo