PET STORIES: Kasaan Beats Parvovirus!

It’s hard to believe from these photos, but just a few weeks earlier, Kasaan was a gravely ill little girl. She transferred to our emergency clinic after her regular veterinarian determined that she had contracted parvovirus, a particularly lethal viral disease that can lead to sudden death in dogs. When she arrived, Kasaan was lethargic and experiencing chronic bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Her condition was rapidly declining, and it was clear that she was critical. Our medical team rallied together in an effort to save her.

What Is Parvo?

Parvovirus, or parvo, is an extremely contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract. Vomiting and diarrhea cause rapid dehydration, and most deaths from parvo occur within 48 to 72 hours after symptoms start. Unfortunately, there’s no specific drug available to kill the virus; all we can do is support the dog’s body systems until its immune system can fight off the infection – for instance, replacing electrolyte and fluid losses, controlling vomiting and diarrhea, and preventing secondary infections.

The good news is, most dogs are vaccinated against parvo. However, sadly, many aren’t. Young puppies who haven’t had the chance to be fully vaccinated yet are especially at risk of contracting it – as was the case with Kasaan.

A Happy Ending

Kasaan spent 11 days with us and received around-the-clock care. Her bone marrow stopped working from the severity of the virus, which required eight blood transfusions to rectify. Our team never gave up on her and neither did her mom, who came to visit often. Kasaan showed steady, gradual improvement, until one memorable morning when she woke up bright, alert and full of energy. Her tail started to wag, the sparkle returned to her eyes and we knew she had made it through her tough battle. Way to go, Kasaan!

To learn more about how to protect your pet against parvovirus, make an appointment with one of our doctors.