Parvovirus: Woman warns of first symptom of the painful condition in dogs

Parvo is a common disease that affects young pups and can be deadly.

A woman who has lost her precious puppy to the deadly canine parvovirus is warning other dog owners of the early symptoms to look out for. Five-month-old, Rosie, died few days after catching the virus, leaving the family devastated.

‘It felt so hopeless’

Megan Bradley, from Walton, first noticed something was off with the Rottweiler when she began vomiting on Saturday, February 19. She was sent to the vets’ but the pup’s condition quickly deteriorated; she had severe bouts of diarrhoea and could hardly move.

She was diagnosed with the highly contagious and deadly canine parvovirus.

Rosie was taken back to the vet’s on Monday when she started passing bloody stool. She had got so weak at this point, they had to carry her around the facility. Megan recalled:

On Monday she went to the vet and then she was drooling, the sickness had stopped but the diarrhoea was really bad. By Monday night, she was at the stage where she was basically dying in front of us. She was starting to bleed from her bottom and she was breathing quite heavily.

On Tuesday, the vets attending to the dog called Megan to break the bad news to her; Rosie was in so much pain, it would be cruel to keep her alive. The news was a blow to Megan who has only had the pup for less than six months. She said:

It feels like the dog has been taken away far too quickly. We haven’t had long enough with her. It felt so hopeless, it’s awful. It was a shock. She was the most bouncy puppy in the world. To go from that to not being able to lift her own weight off the floor.

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Although it is unclear where Rosie may have caught the virus from, Megan suspects it could have been at the Walton Park and Stanley Park where she had walked the dog prior to her death.

Puppies between the ages of six weeks and six months are the most susceptible to the virus. They are exposed to it anytime they sniff, lick or consume infected faeces - the reason Megan is advising dog owners to pick up after their pets immediately.

Symptoms include:

  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness

Puppies are vaccinated against parvo at approximately 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age. Owners should be extra careful during this period, as pups are highly vulnerable to the disease until they’ve had all three shots.

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