It is parvo time again it seems. I arrived at work yesterday morning to discover that the white maltese that was in on Friday had taken a turn for the worst and was exhibiting full-blown parvo complete with the classic stinky bloody diarrhea. Also he had a roommate, a little pup called Vanessa from Paws N Hooves. As I found out through out the day, both dogs originated from Fairford Road. This pound would have to be the most parvo plagued pound in Sydney and they don’t do anything about. When Renbury has a parvo outbreak, they usually have the decency to close down the puppy section, as it can be guaranteed that almost all the pups will get parvo. Fairford Road just ignores the fact and keep letting rescuers adopt dogs, which inevitably end up at our hospital on drips.
The white maltese, Billy, took a turn for the worse during the afternoon. Heaps of diarrhea and he was very cold and lethargic. We popped him on a 5% glucose drip and surrounded him with hot water bottles. I wasn’t really holding out any hope for him. Meanwhile, the puppy Vanessa wasn’t looking too bad, no diarrhea at all, but she still looked fairly flat.
Come evening the tables had turned. Billy was looking much better. He was standing up again, whilst Vanessa still looked very flat.
At about 6pm, we had a foster carer from PAWS come in with a dog that had been in the pound with Billy and another little dog called Nell who was dying over at St George Hospital. The dog tested positive for parvo, so I went to set up the isolation room for now three dogs with parvo. I got Billy all organised and then I went to check on Vanessa. To say she looked bad is an understatement, I had to check her corneal reflexes to see if she was still alive – and they were only just responding. The PAWS co-ordinator elected to euthanised the newly brought in dog. Vanessa died not long afterwards. Gods, I hate parvo. As Todd kept saying all day, “Parvo.. it’s a horrible disease”.
The only good thing about it is that I am now getting really good at set up drips, changing drips, and unblocking IV lines. Still have to learn to insert an IV catheter though.
During all this we also had a first year vet student in doing work experience. It was her first day and she got to experience parvo and two deaths. Hopefully, she won’t quit.
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