Seven days ago, I adopted an adorable 3 month old puppy from our local shelter, knowing that if she were not adopted, she would probably be put to sleep. My husband and I had put down our beloved 15 year old dog Samantha just a month ago. Maggie became our new baby and was really beginning to bond with us. She even slept in an old bassinette we had in the attic. Suddenly, four days after we got her home, she started vomiting and having diahrea, and couldn't hold any food down. The shelter Vet gave her a shot and fluids and then told me to take her to my Vet if she was still sick the next day. When my Vet. saw Maggie, he immediately suspected Parvo. The test was deadly positive. The virus was so far gone that no amount of treatment could have saved Maggie. (There are 5 littermates still at the shelter.) The decision to have Maggie put to sleep was excruciating since we had just lost our best friend, Sam. I know that the seven days my husband and I loved Maggie were the best days of her life. My only sadness is that she could not have lived longer to receive all the love we had in our hearts for her. We could barely stand to walk back into our home after losing her. Now we have to wait months before we can even think of bringing a new puppy home because of the contagious nature of Parvo and the negligence of the shelter for not testing the puppies when they were brought in. It would have saved so much heartache.
***Edited By: GrannyRedStick on 12/8/2004 3:02:07 AM*** Reason: misspelled word
GRS - I know how you feel. I too, have lost a puppy from Parvo.
Unfortunatley, waiting 'months' will not take care ofthe problem. The suggested timeframe is one year and then the virus could easily still be present. Bleaching helps control the problem, but with the dog being indoors, you cannot possible bleach everything the dog touched (floor, carpet, couch, etc).
Even in yards/homes where Parvo has been eradicated (or never existed) it can be placed there by something as simple as a bird dropping. It is a very sad, sad disease and HIGHLY contagious.
My suggestion to you, if you choose to get another dog is to get an adult dog. Their immune systems are developed to resist Parvo better than that of a puppy. Keep in mind that Rotts and a few other breeds are very susseptible, even as adults.
If an adult dog is not an option, then you can have a puppy vaccinated and boarded at your vets office (or boarding facility) for 2 to 3 weeks before bringing the puppy home. This will give the vaccines time to get in the pups system.
Granny, I'm so sorry about both your losses. Parvo is such a heartbreaking experience.
Ansy had a very good suggestion. Getting a young adult dog from a shelter is a very good idea. Their immune system is usually more established an able to fight viruses. If and when you do adopt one, take him/her to a Vet for a though exam to detect any of the usual, parvo, distemper, heartworm.
Also I would suggest disposing of all the items the puppy had used, bedding, toys, dishes and clean as much as you can with bleach.
Here's a place where you can order a parvo disinfectant spray for carpets and porous areas in your home and other parvo disinfectant items.
Granny, I am so sorry to hear about both of your losses. My friend had the same thing happen at the shelter and boy did she let them have it.
We went as far as calling everyone on the committee and letting the whole town know that they sell sick dogs. They only had a vet once a week who could not chick out all the dogs when brought in. They needed more money or someone who or would volunteer as a vet.
These dogs should have a place at the shelter where they are checked out first and then put into cages where they can be adopted. Just know that there are more that died at that shelter than you know. I case of Parvo can kill lots of animals.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. That is really tough after losing a long time pet and to lose another one so soon. I really thought shelters were better about making sure the dog is healthy before they adopt it out.
Granny, nothing I can say will take the hurt away, but know that you gave your heart to your pets for as much time as you were allowed to have them in your home. Bless you for giving the puppy a chance at happiness!