Lets start with the good stuff that happened this week.
Which is very very good.
Which was also very good. In fact it was amazing.
And it wasn’t just amazing in the “aw look at the puppy playing with the big dog” way. It was amazing in the sense that she played at all!
If you follow me on Facebook you already know the story. If you don’t, well here’s the story:
We adopted Mia on Friday. She had a busy and playful day on Saturday. Sunday morning Mia refused to eat or drink anything. I tried everything I could think of. Canned food, people food, treats. Nothing. We hoped it was just stress but by Sunday afternoon it was apparent something was quite wrong so we took her to the animal hospital near our house. They tested her for parvo and told us it was positive. They told us treatment would be anywhere from $800 to $1200. I burst into tears.
While waiting on paperwork to start treatment, I called the Humane Society to tell them they gave me a sick dog. Their reaction surprised me. They flat out said she does NOT have parvo and if she tested positive it was due to the vaccination for it they gave her. They told me to bring her there and they would treat her for free. The catch was I had to give her back to them, then readopt her when she was better. That made me uncomfortable but we certainly couldn’t afford $800!
Mia spent the night back that the humane society under the watch of vets and vet students. They confirmed with a white blood cell count that she did NOT have parvo. Her white blood cell count was high, indicating she had an infection of some sort. They called me Monday to say she had been eating and drinking, and was doing fine. She was doing so fine she was driving them crazy whining about being caged. They said she got spoiled fast. 🙂 I picked her up and she did seem a bit perkier, but she was still pretty quiet.
She didn’t eat or drink that night but since they had given her fluids and food at the humane society I didn’t worry too much. But Tuesday she was back to refusing to eat, drink, and this time seemed down right depressed. Then the humane society called me. Three more puppies from her group were brought in very sick, one that died that night, and the one that died had symptoms and a white blood cell count consistent with parvo. They wanted me to bring her back there. But I was reluctant because they had already given me back a sick puppy and now they are telling me the puppies brought back may for sure have parvo and now she’s been exposed.
Tuesday afternoon I took her to the vet both my mom and one of Jack’s co-worker recommended. They were worried about parvo because their test revealed a weak positive for it, but she didn’t have parvo symptoms: no diarrhea and no vomiting. But she was clearly lethargic and dehydrated. They recommended IV fluids and antibiotics over night. So they started her on that, then later that night I transported her to another 24 hour vet (because this one wasn’t 24 hours).
After being on IV fluids all night, she improved quite a bit and continued to improve throughout the day while being on the IV fluids and antibiotics. By Wednesday evening she was fine so they released her back in our care. They put her on a bland diet of baby food (stage 1 chicken) and white rice despite the fact that she never vomited or had diarrhea.
She’s been fine ever since: acting like a normal puppy, chewing on everything and getting into mischief. For the last two days I’ve had to feed her the bland diet every few hours and keep a close eye on her. It’s been like having a newborn in the house!
No one really knows what exactly was wrong with her. Her white blood cell count did drop at some point but stayed within normal and maintained there. (Parvo wipes out the white blood cells completely.) Her appetite is back with a vengeance too! But she still may have been exposed to it so it will be another week of really watching her to be sure she stays healthy. The parvo gestation period is 4 – 14 days. She was possibly exposed Sunday night.
The whole thing was gut-wrenching. I thought we were doing a great thing by adopting this sweet puppy, and knew we’d risk having to deal with issues that come from dogs being raised in horrible, neglectful conditions. But the agony of wondering what was wrong with her, having her be fine, then not fine multiple times was a bit much. And the possibility that she might not make it was torture and I felt horrible that my family had to go through that so soon before Christmas.
For now she’s doing great. More than great!
But I won’t feel she’s out of the woods until the full 14 days have passed, *if* she was in fact exposed to parvo.