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How mad am I supposed to be at a vet who didn't diagnose a parvo infection of a 4-months old puppy?

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by panda bear, Mar 3, 2017.


  1. panda bear

    panda bear PetForums Newbie

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    I'll try to tell the whole story in the most concise way I can.

    On a Wednesday afternoon 4 weeks ago my parents’ 4-months old Rottweiler Mia started to vomit, had diarrhea and stopped eating. At first, my parents thought she just ate something bad and will get well soon enough. So, after Mia didn’t get any better on Thursday – diarrhea did stop, but she still wasn’t eating at all, would vomit water and basically stopped moving, they took her to their vet on Friday morning. After a blood test, the vet said that Mia’s probably poisoned and that they just have to wait. He did give her some injections and infusion. He did the exactly same things on Saturday and Sunday – he continued telling them that he thinks that she’s poisoned and that they have to give her organism enough time to clean itself. He was still giving Mia some injections including infusion. During those three days on which my parents took Mia to the vet (Fri, Sat, Sun) Mia wasn’t getting any better – she wasn’t moving much, still wasn’t eating at all, would drink some small amounts of water but sometimes would vomit soon after. Except making sure she always had fresh water and some food besides her and that she was always clean, my parents weren’t doing anything special. Finally, they began to feel a little bit suspicious about our vet’s “diagnosis”, and on Monday morning they asked him if there’s a place they can take Mia to get some actual tests done, because they thought that this supposed “poisoning” should’ve already started to wear off. The vet told them that they can take Mia to the veterinary college in our country’s capital (which is a 2 hours drive from my parents’ town) because in their town there’s no veterinary place with good enough diagnostics (they live in a 150.000 people town, and there are a lot of vets in it). My parents immediately took Mia to the mentioned college. Unfortunately, on their way there Mia started to get worse and seconds before they arrived she fell into a coma. On the college, vets immediately admitted her in their emergency room but sadly Mia died 10 minutes after. A vet from the college asked my parents if it’s alright if they keep Mia’s body, do an autopsy and then let my parents know what was the cause of her death – my parents agreed. That was 3 weeks ago and finally today my parents got a letter from the college with the autopsy results and it says that Mia had a “complicated multisystemic parvovirus infection”. I’ve never heard of the disease before so I went online to research it a bit. I ended up feeling so bad and guilty about everything – parvo is not some super rare condition and I’m so utterly shocked and angry that our “vet” didn’t diagnose it on time. How did this happen even? Is this guy crazy? Should he even be working? I want to call him tomorrow and tell him I blame him 100% for what’s happened to Mia. Should I do that? Is this guy really to blame 100%? I did see that parvo is a serious condition, and that 50% of the infected puppies unfortunately die, but if not treated at all then the death rate is 90%. I’m so angry at the moment! I just want this guy to feel responsible for what he did!
     
    #1 panda bear, Mar 3, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  2. Tamberlane

    Tamberlane PetForums Member

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    Was she vaccinated?
    Parvo is usually prevented by the puppy vaccinations its very unusual to see it if they have had their jabs.......but that said in some of the black and tan breeds-rottweilers,gsds vaccines can be less efficent due to high maternal antibodies and some of these pups can catch it despite vaccines if the course ends before 12/13 weeks.
    It is very strange that the vet didnt test for parvo in a puppy with vomiting and diarrhoea though!

    If it helps you feel better all you can really do for parvo is supportive care...ie give intravenous fluids and meds to help stop nausea and in some cases antibiotics to prevent secondary infections....and it sounds like you may have been getting those and given your girl a fighting chance even if the reason behind the giving wasnt correct.

    Also parvo is very infectious so I would check and insure all dogs that come into contact with there your poor little girl has been are up to date with their shots! And not bring another puppy into the area unless you can be 100 percent sure everything has been disinfected with a suitable virus killer.

    Rip to your little girl though.such a tragic loss of a short life! Ye must be gutted :(
     
  3. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    So sorry to hear this but the treatment the vet gave was probably exactly the same as he would have given for parvo. You dont say what country you are in, is it one where parvo is not common. Why was the pup not vaccinated. I have to say that the earlier a pup with the problems your pup had is put on fluids the better so leaving her so long could well have meant she did not have the best chance of recovery.
    So no, I would not blame the vet but I would discuss the disease with him and try and find out more about it and get advice on what disinfectant you should use and how long (might be months) before you should get another puppy.
     
  4. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    I am so sorry t o hear about your puppy, losing a young puppy is always very hard and heartbreaking.

    There isn't a cure as such for parvo virus. Ones of the highest risks and problems with parvo is that it causes serious dehydration which alone can make a dog extremely ill and can be fatal. Treatment therefore is supportive theraphy usually, IV fluids and often medications like IV anti sickness and anti diarrhoea meds as there is no point in giving any meds orally as they will be lost before they can be absorbed by the body. Sometimes too I believe they may also give them antibiotics to deal with any risk or secondary bacterial infection that may also be present. Apart from the supportive theraphy, it is then just usually a matter of waiting to see if the puppy will be strong enough to ride out the infection and recover from it.

    It sounds like you may not be in the UK? I know there is something called an idexx snap parvo test which can be done inhouse to detect parvo virus from a faecal sample and this can get results quickly. It would though depend on if your vet had the testing kits.

    Even if your dog was vaccinated for some reason there are a few breeds that for some genetic reason are non responders to the parvo virus vaccine and unfortunately the Rotweiller is one of these breeds.

    The info below is from WSAVA vaccination guidelines

    3) The animal is a poor responder (its immune system intrinsically fails to recognize the vaccinal antigens)


    If an animal fails to develop an antibody response after repeated revaccination, it should be considered a genetic non-responder.

    Because immunological non-responsiveness is genetically controlled in other species, certain breeds of dogs have been suspected

    to be poor-responders. It is believed (but unproven) that the high susceptibility to CPV-2 recognized in certain Rottweilers and

    Dobermanns during the 1980s (regardless of their vaccination history) relates in part to a high prevalence of non-responders (Houston

    et al. 1994) [EB4]. In the USA today, these two breeds seem to have no greater numbers of non-responders to CPV-2 than other

    breeds, possibly because carriers of the genetic trait may have died from CPV-2 infection. Some dogs of these breeds may be low or

    non-responders to other antigens. For example, in the UK and Germany, the non-responder phenotype remains prevalent amongst

    Rottweilers [EB3] for CPV-2 and recent studies have shown this breed to have a higher proportion of animals failing to achieve the

    titre of rabies antibody required for pet travel (Kennedy et al. 2007) [EB1]. Some broad estimates have been made of the proportion

    of genetic non-responders in the canine population, these being: 1 in every 5,000 dogs for CDV, 1 in every 100,000 dogs for CAV

    and 1 in every 1,000 dogs for CPV-2 [EB4].

    http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines 2015 Full Version.pdf

    Some pups regardless of supportive theraphy and medication still are not able or strong enough to ride out the infection and recover. Treatment though to give them the best chance possible does need to be instigated as soon and as early as possible.
     
  5. panda bear

    panda bear PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you all for your kind responses!

    My parents live in Croatia by the way and they will go to see their vet on Monday and discuss everything with him, including if she was vaccinated for parvo. At the moment they do believe she was - she got vaccinated a couple of times in total and puppies are supposed to get vaccinated for parvo in Croatia too. Also, I just wanted to say that I've made a typo in my original post - Mia was 6 months old actually.

    Since yesterday, I've watched some videos on how people treat their dogs with parvo and how they are almost non-stop besides them - trying to make them drink as much as they can as often as every half an hour, giving them chicken broth and stuff, and some puppies do make it. As I said, Mia was actually a 6-months old dog and was almost 30 kgs when she got the disease. I feel even more guilty about how ignorant we all were and how badly we've handled this whole thing. As I said in my original post, the vet would give Mia an intravenous infusion once a day for those three days and my mom would also try to give her some water during the day - but I'm under the impression that keeping a dog hydrated is one of the most important things when trying to fight parvo and I'm sure we haven't kept her hydrated as we could've. I mean, my parents would leave Mia alone for around 6-7 hours at night.

    Also, another thing that worries me now is the fact that Mia could've easily contaminated the ambulance room and the space around it with the virus - I asked my mom today and she told me that 2 times when they were visiting the vet, Mia actually had a diarrhea in the small garden in front of the vet's ambulance room, so other dogs could catch it easily. I know that's something you cannot influence much - but this stupid vet got Mia visiting his ambulance room for 4 days in a row and directly had other dogs exposed to the greater risk. I honestly believe that if somebody in the US had the same experience we did, he would sue the shit out of this vet and the vet could lose his permission to work.

    Regarding the desire to call up this vet and tell him he's incompetent, I don't know - I want to wait and see what is he gonna tell my parents on Monday.
     
    #5 panda bear, Mar 4, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    In the UK parvo cases would be isolated and barrier nursed and usually from cases that I have heard of been admitted and treated. It is contagious. Maybe because they didn't suspect parvo and thought it was something the dog had eaten they carried out no precautions. Although I suppose common sense should really dictate that as the symptoms can be a sign of a bacterial or viral stomach bug too, and as nothing had been confirmed for sure, it would have been at least logical and probably wise to observe at least some basic health and hygiene protocols. Parvo can be picked up from the environment when its passed out in the faeces of infected dogs..Even if she were vaccinated rotweillers are a breed known in some cases to not be responders to the parvo vaccine. It also depends on when she may have been vaccinated too. Puppies have or should something called maternal derived antibodies that they should get from mum depending on her immunity. These are passed on in the colostrum in the first few days of feeding. If the vaccinations are sometimes done too early and these maternal derived antibodies from mum are still high then that too can cancel out the vaccinations. The maternal derived antibodies only cover the pups for the first weeks assuming they have them and in sufficient numbers in the first place, they then wane, hence the need for vaccinations so that they then make their own or should. Puppies should be vaccinated twice in the initial course just in case the first ones don't take.

    From posts that we have had in the past though, from members who have joined from other countries, veterinary care and protocols do seem to be different and not always so efficient as those in maybe the UK and places like the states and some other countries. They obviously cant have tested for parvo and maybe didn't even have things like the idexx parvo in house snap tests like they do in the UK and other countries. In the UK there is also complaints procedures initially the complain is always taken up with the practice itself, but if things are not resolved then there is a further complaints procedure that you can make to the RCVS. Maybe the veterinary college that you took Mia too after may be able to advise you further and give you more information perhaps.
     
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