Lanark veterinary hospital's warning to dog owners
Reggie, a Jack Russell-cross-Beagle, was just six weeks old when he was rushed to Clyde Veterinary Hospital suffering from the deadly illness.
He was so poorly vets feared he might not survive but, thanks to the high level of care he received, Reggie has made an incredible recovery.
Now Clyde Veterinary Hospital is calling for owners to have their dogs vaccinated against parvovirus, to prevent another much-loved pet suffering like Reggie.
Young puppies and unvaccinated dogs, including those who are not up to date with their booster jabs, are most at risk of parvovirus.
Signs of the disease include foul-smelling diarrhoea that contains blood, vomiting, loss of appetite, collapse, depression and fever.
Vet Fabienne Giraud and the team in Lanark worked round the clock to care for Reggie; she said the pup is lucky his owners, Reece Dodds and Gillian Deeney from Wishaw, got him to hospital so quickly.
“Sadly, there are no drugs to treat parvovirus so to make sure Reggie had the best chance of survival we gave him round-the-clock supportive care,” said Fabienne.
“He was hand-fed every hour using a syringe and given fluids intravenously because he was dehydrated due to vomiting and diarrhoea.
"Parvovirus damages the digestive system so Reggie needed antibiotics to reduce the risk of blood poisoning.”
He was kept in isolation because parvovirus is contagious and the vets and nurses caring for him followed strict hygiene procedures.
Luckily the treatment he received was successful and, after eight days in hospital, he was able to go home.
He has since been given a clean bill of health and has had a course of three injections at Clyde Vets’ surgery in Wishaw to protect him against parvovirus in future.
Fabienne added: “It was so rewarding when Reggie pulled through as the odds were really against him. When he came into the practice for his second vaccine I just had to have a cuddle – I couldn’t believe how much he’d grown!”
Reece said Reggie is now alert, inquisitive and full of energy – just like any healthy pup should be.
He said: “I can’t thank Fabienne and the other vets and nurses enough for saving Reggie. The level of care they gave him was outstanding; to go from being barely alive to how he is now is incredible.
“We bought Reggie after seeing an advert on the internet and were told he was eight weeks old. We now think he was only six weeks old and not even weaned from his mum.”
Clyde Veterinary Hospital advises new owners to go to a reputable breeder or rescue centre, make sure a pup has had its first parvovirus vaccination and check the vaccination card is not a photocopy.
Puppies should receive their first injection aged eight to 10 weeks, then two further vaccinations between 10 to 12 weeks and 16 to 18 weeks old. Adult dogs require regular booster injections to maintain immunity.
Fabienne added: “If you think your pet is showing signs of the disease, you should contact your vet immediately.”