Parvovirus in Dogs: Tidus’ Recovery From Parvo

Canine parvovirus is an extremely contagious and potentially fatal viral infection.

The only available treatment is supportive care. That’s why parvo is one of the core vaccines.

Thank you, Shaws M. Finch, DVM, for sharing Tidus’ story.

Parvovirus in Dogs: Tidus' Recovery From Parvo

Tidus’s story

Tidus is my nephew Travis’s Pit Bull puppy.  I’ve never known a cuter and sweeter dog.

Then Tidus stopped eating for a day. He looked MISERABLE.  So did Travis.  My heart broke twice.

Tidus had received one vaccination against parvo disease at seven weeks of age.  He was now four months old, and projectile vomiting liquid on abdominal palpation and projectile vomiting liquid with the movement it took to place him on the scale gently.

Parvovirus in Dogs: Tidus' Recovery From Parvo

The diagnosis

In-house testing confirmed that Tidus did indeed have parvo, and it was hitting him hard.  

His saving graces were a Dad who got him in quickly and a vet team crazy about puppy survival.

The treatment

Tidus was hospitalized on aggressive fluid therapy, anti-vomiting medication, pain medication, and antibiotics to guard against secondary infections.

Tidus, the lover of all things human and canine, was sentenced to solitary confinement, with minimal handling – and that by a gloved and gowned tech whose heart was breaking because she could not hold him on her lap and tell him all would (probably) be ok, but could only change his line and administer medication and replace his bedding (again) as aseptically as possible, and scrub and bleach after each encounter, to the detriment of her scrubs, socks, and shoes, but to the salvation of our other canine patients and her pups at home.

The team decided to give Tidus the warmest, fluffiest bedding we had, knowing full well that the decision was also one to do DAYS of Tidus-only laundry (now with extra bleach!) so that he could have the comfort and love of home, if not the snuggling and attention he was so used to and so craved.

Parvovirus in Dogs: Tidus' Recovery From Parvo

The recovery

Everyone on the team made concessions so Brooke could handle Tidus for his whole stay, and they all saw all the dogs and all the puppies, and the parvovirus stopped here.  They asked if Tidus was ok and how he was feeling, and everyone gave me the hugs they wanted to give Tidus because they knew my stomach hurt too if only a thousandth of how much Tidus’s stomach hurt, as we all walked the puppy through this together.

The whole family took care of Travis, knowing Tidus is his world, and Grandma swooped so Travis could focus on Tidus’s recovery NOW and deal with the financial side of his illness LATER.

Tidus was started on a mild diet on day two – oops!  Wow, that was a mistake for sure.  

Tidus was started on a mild diet on day THREE.

AND THEN…Tidus ate a bite of i/d canned dog food and did not barf.  

He made it outside before he pottied.  His stomach came out of its full-on clench and stayed comfortable and relaxed even with my daily jerk move of deep abdominal palpation.  He lifted his ears and his tail when he saw sweet fourteen-year-old Ginger, the retired bird dog, playing out in the yard behind the hospital.  ”Not today, Tidus,” I whispered.  ”Soon.”

Tidus' Recovery From Parvo

And soon did indeed come.  The spark in his eyes is back full force.  No longer can you see his skeleton.  No longer does his head hang down, and his stomach tuck.

Once again, Tidus perpetually looks as if he just told a hilarious joke and wants to jump into your lap to tell it again.  And he does.  I missed you, puppy.  I am so very glad you are back kiddo.

Related articles:
Canine Parvovirus

Further reading:
Diagnosis of Canine Parvovirus

Categories: ConditionsParvovirusReal-life Stories

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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