“My name is Kayleen, I’m a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) at a 24-hour veterinary and emergency hospital. We get a fair amount of parvo positive puppies there. Parvo is a highly contagious and environmentally resistant virus that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, low white blood cell counts, and dehydration secondary to the diarrhea. It is a very life-threatening virus, especially if left untreated. Young unvaccinated puppies are most likely to get it, although any unvaccinated dog is also susceptible.
This little pug was a parvo positive puppy who was hospitalized with us, not too long ago. He was just a little guy, the size of a potato. Taking care of a hospitalized parvo patient is very time intensive. They have to be kept in isolation, so you have to wear gloves and a gown as well as stepping into a foot bath every time you leave the room. It involves a lot of medication administration, both IV and oral, as well as constantly cleaning up vomit, diarrhea, and the puppy; because they often are too weak/lethargic to care that they’re laying in their own mess. It also usually involves force feeding, since they are nauseous and have no desire to eat. We also have to consistently take vital signs (heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate, and checking the gums and capillary refill time), keep the puppy warm; as well as fix any issues that may arise with the IV pump and catheter… Essentially when you are the one taking care of a parvo patient, it’s a time (and love) intensive role.
This particular pug went home, a parvo survivor, and I had not seen him since that time. Yesterday, I came into work and saw him waiting in a kennel for his neuter… I told my coworker that he looked familiar; and that was when I found out it was my little parvo positive puglet I had treated. When it was time for him to go home from his neuter, I picked him up to remove his catheter. He proceeded to hug me for several minutes and refused to get down. I like to think he remembered me from all those hours I spent taking care of him when he was a very sick little baby. Moments like this make a sometimes very stressful job, completely worth it.”