Oh, my. Look at this sweet face. This is Lilly, a 5-month-old Chihuahua.
Lilly’s mom started to notice that she was acting weak, had vomited a couple of times, and showed very little interest in food. Knowing that this behavior isn’t typical of a pup, her mom took her to the vet immediately, which is a good thing as Lilly had Parvo.
Parvo is something that Fur Kids Foundation has kept a close watch on. For those who don’t know, canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can become life-threatening if not caught early. The virus attacks rapidly, dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Parvovirus also attacks the white blood cells, and when young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problems.
Want to know how Parvo is transmitted? When any person, animal or object comes in contact with an infected dog's FECES. (Remember that lengthy blog Fur Kids Foundation posted about picking up dog poo? Well, here’s another reason that dog poo is gross.) Parvo can be carried on the dog’s hair and feet, as well as on contaminated crates, shoes, and other objects. When the dog licks the fecal material off hair, feet, or anything that came in contact with infected feces, he or she acquires the disease.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, symptoms of Parvo include:
Vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration, and most deaths from parvovirus occur within 48 to 72 hours following the onset of the signs outlined above. If your puppy or dog shows any of these signs, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
It’s important to note that ANY unvaccinated dog of any age is susceptible to Parvo, but puppies have an increased risk. Remember: Until a puppy has received its complete series of vaccinations, pet owners should be cautious when bringing their pet to places other dogs visit such as pet shops, parks, obedience classes, kennels, and grooming establishments among others. In fact, Fur Kids Foundation recommends you do not take your puppy to many places until they are fully vaccinated. We strongly encourage you to speak with your veterinarian for more information about keeping your puppy safe.
Lilly comes from a family of five, and three of the family members are disabled, leaving the family on a limited budget. Recently the families income changed, which caused them to be a little more financially strapped than usual, and because of it they chose to put off Lilly’s vaccinations. When they received the estimate for the cost of treating Parvo, which was $900 to $1,200, they knew they couldn't afford it, but also couldn't let Lilly suffer. They reached out to Fur Kids Foundation for support, and we were happy to provide it.
Because Lilly’s mom recognized that her puppy was sick, she saved her life. Lilly also only had to stay a few days in the vet clinic, unlike the typical five to seven days of treatment for Parvo. Lilly is feeling much better and is expected to make a full recovery, and live a very happy and full life. Once she's 100% back to normal, her parents are going to get her caught up on her vaccines.
Fur Kids Foundation is grateful for the dedication of our volunteers and supporters who have helped local families stay happy and healthy, and together! If you would like to help Fur Kids Foundation continue to help families in Campbell County, Wyoming with animals, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. The money helps families during a time when they may not be able to afford adequate veterinary care. Check out more Success Stories.
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.
The Fur Kids Foundation blog is written by board member and Founder Felicia. If you have ideas that you would like to see published in the blog such as concerns about pet-focused topics in the community or a funny story, please contact the Foundation. Enjoy!