Meet “Belle” a 9 week old Lab. Belle was adopted by her owners from a small shelter. She had only received one set of vaccines prior to adoption. Belle spent her first few days at home getting to know her new family and having fun. She had an initial visit to the vet the day prior to becoming ill. She did receive a dewormer while at the vet and her exam was completely normal.
Unfortunately the following day, she developed significant vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. Belle was taken back to her family vet who immediately diagnosed her with Parvo Virus.
"Parvo" is a very aggressive viral infection that attacks rapidly dividing cells in the body. It is highly contagious and is commonly picked up by non-vaccinated animals at shelters. There is a very effective vaccine against parvo that protects virtually all animals once they have developed strong immunity. Unfortunately for Belle, she had not had a chance to receive her complete vaccination series prior to being exposed at the shelter.
The first site in a dog’s body to become attacked by the virus is the lining of the intestines, leading to vomiting, diarrhea (often bloody), severe nausea, and abdominal pains. This then leaves an already sick animal with a weakened and ineffective immune system. Left untreated, parvo virus quickly becomes fatal.
Belle was hospitalized by her family vet for many days where initially she responded to treatment, however, she then relapsed and became very sick again. It was at this point that she was transferred to the Care Center to continue further aggressive treatment.
Check back tomorrow for an update on Belle!!