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On September 3rd, 2015, someone called me to report that a dog and her six day-old puppies had been abandoned at a bus stop. Jose and I went to get them. Otherwise the puppies would no doubt have died of exposure that night during the heavy rain. 

Abandoning the mama dog and her puppies is an inexcusable act of cruelty. Our clinics every month are inexpensive and they easily solve the issue of unwanted puppies and kittens.

I had never had any experience with puppies. Dr. Tello came to my house after the October 18th clinic and told me how to start weaning the puppies.

On Thursday, October 22nd, three puppies had no appetite. Then we saw some bloody stool. Jose, who has more experience than I with puppies, said they had parvo.

I panicked and did the worse possible thing I could have done: I rushed to buy parvo vaccine for all of them.

Then I started doing research. Giving the vaccine (or any vaccine) to a sick animal is the worst possible thing to do.

Plus, giving the vaccination to a healthy puppy does not prevent parvo 100%, and the vaccine can sometimes even cause parvo up to approximately 15 days after vaccination. (Now I'm worried about the three healthy puppies that I vaccinated.)

The parvo virus is very contagious. It can be tracked in on ones shoes, and is possibly even airborne via birds. The virus itself doesn't kill puppies. It's the resulting dehydration.

Some web sites recommend Parvaid, which I doubt is available here.

Others recommend Pedialyte (for electrolytes) mixed with activated charcoal.

See and for example.

I separated the three puppies from mom and the other puppies. First, with a syringe, I started giving a mixture of pipa water, honey, and activated charcoal. I gave them about
10 cc every hour or so.  I also started injection of Baytril, an antibiotic. By Friday morning, diarrhea and urine was everywhere and one puppy had died. 

Saturday I simmered some liver in water. When the remaining two puppies still wouldn't eat the liver or the liver water, I gave each an enema of liver water, about 10 cc each. I read that if they didn't expel it, then their system had absorbed it. Also, I kept giving them pipa water and liver water by sringe. But Saturday afternoon another puppy died in my arms--just after wagging his tail.

Today, October 25th, one is still alive. He's actually the runt of the litter. He seems perky but he still doesn't want to eat. I continue to give him fluids and pureed liver with a syringe, and the antibiotic injections for a full eight days. If this little guy lives, I will definitely keep him. He and I have been through a lot together. I'm calling him Rascal.

At first, I felt really bad that I hadn't previously vaccinated the puppies for parvo. But from research and this experience, I learned:

1) vaccinating puppies doesn't necessarily prevent parvo and can sometimes actually cause it.

2) curing a puppy from parvo means hourly diligence and treatment, and even that may not work.

Here is a picture of mama dog (Daisy) when her puppies were one-day old, and one of Jose holding two when they were four weeks old. 


  Vaya con dios, my little puppies that did not survive. I did my best for you.

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