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PARVO & CORONA

1st person experience by Judith Allen
Feb 27, 2001

 

Those of us who lost "healthy" dogs to parvo in 1978 before the vaccine came out, will never forget the horror of having a puppy die in your arms just hours after it had been playing happily.

The first time that it happened, I could not comprehend that anything could kill a robust puppy so fast.

Our 2 pick puppies were romping and playing at the morning feeding. By noon they had watery eyes and looked sad. I made an appointment for 3pm at the vet office because I'd heard rumors of a "new" virus. At 2:30 pm a chunky 12 week old puppy died in my arms on the way to the van.

I took both puppies. I insisted on an autopsy immediately. I'll never be able to forget the "stench of death" as the vet opened my puppy. It was incredible. All her organs had hemorrhaged.

The other puppy went on an IV for several days. We also had a nursing 3 week old litter. Mom became quiet with acute diarrhea but she continued to eat. The puppies cried and cried. We used eye droppers to keep herbal vitamin fluids and honey in the babies. They all survived.

We kept the puppies until they were 14 weeks to make sure that all was well. At about 9 weeks one puppy went blind.

When Corona hit the show circuits in the 80's we almost lost a 6 month old robust puppy.

Every time I think of these experiences, my stomach churns. That smell of death comes to my nostrils. Vaccines may carry some risks but I believe that on the whole, with common sense about not over vaccinating, puppies should be vaccinated.

The dog that went to the Pontiac Silverdome Show years ago didn't become ill. However, I truly believe that I must have infected our puppies from my shoes or clothing or hair.

To this day when we attend shows when we have puppies, we change clothes, shoes and shower before going near the puppies. I rarely attend summer shows when we have puppies and certainly would never take puppies "camping" to these shows as we often see others do. I carefully question families who wish to see our puppies before allowing them to visit. No one is allowed to touch the puppies until it is their turn to pick their puppy. No kennel hopping is allowed. I strongly discourage new puppy owners from attending puppy classes until their puppy's shot series is complete.

We have been very fortunate that we have not had shot reactions or poor immune systems develop as a result of puppy shots. Just reading this over, I sound paranoid. However, an experience with treating a litter of sick puppies stays with you forever

Judith

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