Meet Chance, our Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week!
This sweet face came to see us when he wasn’t feeling so well. Chance had been vomiting and unable to hold down any food or water for the previous 3 days. Although Chance was an older puppy (8 months old) and he had gotten his puppy shots, we always need to rule out parvovirus as a possible cause of vomiting since puppies are the most susceptible. Unfortunately, Chance tested positive for parvovirus.
Parvo is a virus found EVERYWHERE in the environment because it is extremely tough. Any dog is susceptible; however, puppies and unvaccinated dogs are at greatest risk of coming down with symptoms. This is why we recommend that ALL dogs under the age of 4 months stay isolated from public places.
Parvovirus infection usually causes vomiting, bloody diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy, and extreme dehydration. It is usually fatal if left untreated. However, about 80% of patients that are aggressively treated (this generally means in the hospital on IV fluids and medications for up to 5 or more days) will survive.
Chance’s case is especially eye-opening as he did NOT have any diarrhea and had had 2 parvo vaccines as a puppy. It is extremely important that all puppies (and kittens) receive the distemper/parvo vaccine (aka DHPP or FVRCP) starting at 6-8 weeks of age, and receive a booster vaccine every 3-4 weeks until they are A MINIMUM OF 16 WEEKS OF AGE. So even if your puppy has had 3 or 4 shots by the time he is 12 weeks old, the MOST important shot is the last one he gets. If the last shot was given at less than 16 weeks of age, then he is not fully vaccinated.
This is why at Pismo Beach Vet we do an examination and consult with the doctor every step of the way with a new pet or puppy/kitten, rather than just a vaccine clinic. Puppies grow quickly and things are constantly in a state of change so we feel this additional attention and time spent with the doctor is crucial.
You’ll be happy to know that Chance did great and is on his way to making a full recovery!