I hate being the bearer of bad news, but I suppose someone has to do it. This is Raiser Erin again and again I bring a little sadness.
Well, you all know that a few weeks ago my puppy was having a little trouble with his tummy. Now he's on two different kinds of antibiotics and he's doing much better. When he started having his bad tummy Mary found out that almost every dog that came down from Guide Dogs around the same time Rocco did had bed tummies too. Odd, but definitely not unheard of. So really, I didn't think much of it. Until today that is...
Today I got in touch with Eli's puppy raiser. You all remember Eli right? The loudmouth puppy that I fell in love with when I saw him on the puppy truck? The cute little black lab with the name that I would have wanted had I gotten an "E" puppy? Well it turns out that he's having some problems too. Only, it's worse than Rocco's. Eli has contracted Parvo.
For those of you who don't know to word "PARVO" to a dog owner is one that makes your skin crawl. When it's said in context of your puppy it's like getting shot in the stomach. Parvo, or parvovirus, is a very serious, though pretty common, disease for dogs of all ages. But it's worse for puppies. What it is is basically an infection. There are three kinds of parvovirus. The first is asymptomatic. This is basically where there are no signs and is most common in puppies to 1 year of age. The next is cardiac. Cardiac parvo is less common due to widespread vaccinations. This is also the most serious kind. Severe inflammation and necrosis (cell death) of the heart muscle can cause death in very young (8 weeks and younger) puppies. Older dogs generally survive but have scarring on the heart muscles. The last is intestinal. This is pretty common. Intestinal parvo can cause severe damage to the intestinal tract and cause sloughing of the cells that line this tract. This leaves the dog open to secondary bacterial infection. Most affected puppies are under a year old. Usually they're between 6-20 weeks old before all of the vaccinations can be given. Signs for intestinal parvo include vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea-usually bloody and foul smelling (a characteristic odor particular to the Parvovirus infection), and fever.
From what I have heard I believe Eli has Intestinal Parvo. Right now he's been in the hospital for 4 days. He's on an IV and antibiotics to keep him from throwing up. The most common cause of death from parvo is dehydration so the vet is doing everything possible to keep fluids in him. Eli will be 13 weeks old tomorrow so he's an older pup. This is a good thing. He has apparently lost a lot of weight...but he's getting better. His raiser tell me that he is perking up a little and she hopes that he'll be well enough to come on in another few days. I hope so too. I, and his raisers and all of Guide Dogs, would like you to keep him in your thoughts as he fights for his life. He's already proven that he's got the will power and the spirit to get better because he's held on this long. Please help my baby's little brother get better and pray or chant or send out good vibes to universe.
I'd also like to take this time to caution everyone. Especially fellow raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Parvo is extremely contagious and a puppy who has not had all of his/her shots should not be taken to places where there is a possibility of stray dogs. If you want to be overprotective like myself carry them into the vet office until they've finished their shots. And remember that puppies are most prone to disease and infection the WEEK AFTER they get a shot. Puppies should not be allowed into pet stores until they've finished their shots. Keep them on cement or asphalt, do NOT allow them on grass. If you must take them for a walk, like I have to take mine due to his high energy, keep him/her in your neighbourhood. If you see poop on the grass or anywhere near your house or other houses in your neighbourhood stop walking them and burn their energy in the house. It's better to be safe than sorry because watching your puppy go through this is awful. Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy raisers: Eli's vet said that he had been exposed to the infection about 10 days before he was brought in. Unfortunately this means he might have got it up in San Rafael. Things like this can happen when you have so many dogs in one place. If you know that your puppy was on the same puppy truck as Eli please keep a eye on them. If you're not sure, he came through Fresno on March 24th.
Thank you all in advance for you well wishes for Eli.