If you have watched us lately you know that we have been on
parvo watch. When the MASH crew (Hawkeye, Hotlips, Radar,
Klinger and Honeycut) came into hart's care, they were all furry
bundles of joy. They were dirty and smelly but as soon as
they had their first bath, they were fluffy little pups with lots
Fast forward five days and we had our first report of lethargy,
mucousy diarrhea and severe vomiting. Unfortunately, we have
seen these symptoms before and Hawkeye was taken to the emergency
vet immediately. As a parvo test was being administered, we
received our second call from a MASH crew foster home, Honeycut was
experiencing diarrhea. We advised that she be transported to
a hart vet partner immediately. We got the positive parvo
result and made calls to the rest of the MASH crew foster
families. They needed to monitor their pups and let us know
if anything presented.
Fast forward another two days and all five dogs from the litter
were at the vet fighting parvo.
Fast forward another one day and Hawkeye was no longer with
Parvo is a highly contagious viral illness that manifests itself
in an intestinal and cardiac form. The intestinal form is
much more common and is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight
loss, lack of appetite (anorexia), lethargy and depression.
The majority of cases are seen in puppies between six weeks or six
months old. For some unknown reason certain breeds such as
Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Pit Bulls, Labrador Retrievers,
German Shepherds, English Springer Spaniels and Alaskan sled dogs
are particularly vulnerable to parvo.
The intestinal form of parvo, which impacted the MASH crew
affects the body's ability to absorb nutrients and an impacted dog
will quickly become dehydrated and weak from lack of protein and
fluid absorption. Dogs with parvo require intensive
veterinary management. The virus itself cannot be cured, but
with hospitalization dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can be
corrected. Intravenous fluids and medications to control
vomiting and diarrhea are required. In severe cases, blood
plasma transfusions are administered. Antibiotics are
prescribed to prevent septicemia other complications, which are the
usual causes of death.
The outcome depends upon the virulence of the specific strain of
parvovirus, the age and the immune status of the dog and how
quickly the treatment is started.
Parvo causes needless suffering and death to innocent
pups. It is completely preventable by immunizations.
The MASH crew did not have anyone to look out for them until they
came into hart's care so had not received any vaccinations.
Please honor Hawkeye by taking care of your own dogs by having them
Hawkeye was just trying to get big and strong when his life was
cut far too short. We know that we did everything to help him
and are thankful that he did get to experience life in a home as
well as love and affection from his foster family if only for a