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Don’t Ever Skip the Parvo Vaccination

Whether you have a Jack Russell Terrier or another kind of dog, make sure your dog has been vaccinated to prevent Parvovirus. It is a very common and very deadly disease. Here is our story.

When my son was young, one of his favorite stories was Tod and Copper from “The Fox and the Hound” (Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading). It is the story about a fox and fox hound who become friends.

We got a yellow labrador retriever puppy and I asked my son what he wanted to name her. Of course, he wanted to name “her” Copper. I said that wasn’t a girls name, but that’s what became her name. We did not have much money at the time, so I put off getting her all of her vaccinations. Needless to say, she ended up with Parvo. Parvo is a virus that dehydrates your dog. The dog cannot keep any food or liquids down, just like when you get the flu. The dog will die from dehydration if not treated within a short amount of time. So quick action is the only way to save your dog. Never ignore sickness symptoms. Copper had some extreme smelly diarrhea. It was so bad, that she didn’t have time to hold it to get outside. I knew this was not ordinary, so I called the veterinarian immediately. They had me bring her in the side door to avoid the other dogs, because they immediately suspected parvo. This disease is highly contagious to other dogs. Canine parvovirus is not contagious to humans.

yellow labrador retriever puppy
Fast action saved Copper’s life, but it was a very difficult time for me and her. The key is to keep the dog hydrated. The only way to do this was with an IV twice a day. It was very difficult for me to stick the IV needle in her skin to give her the water that she desperately needed to stay alive. Since I knew it was her only chance of survival, I did it.

As you can see from the second picture, she lost a lot of weight since she was living on the liquid from the IV until her body could fight off the virus. She was very weak and would lie calmly while she received her IV treatment. I changed the needle one time because the needle I was using was getting dull. She cried in pain with the new needle. I put the old dull one back on and she was fine. It’s hard for me to write about this even now, even though that was 18 years ago.

Copper did fully recover. But please don’t let this happen to your puppy or dog.

yellow labrador retriever dog

yellow lab with parvo
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2 comments to Don’t Ever Skip the Parvo Vaccination

  • I just happened onto your site. It’s so great! Being a JRT fanatic I’m always happy to see others just like me. I have a blog that is covered with my JRT, Magnus (or HD on the blog, short for HermitDog). He is my first JRT and he’s so much fun! I’m hooked. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Hart

    People who are concerned about the health of their pets should read the latest international guidelines for dog and cat vaccination.

    In 2007 the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) published Dog and Cat Vaccination Guidelines (built on the US AAHA (Canine) and AAFP (Feline) guidelines) for global application. Ref: http://www.wsava.org/PDF/Misc/VGG_09_2007.pdf

    The WSAVA guidelines include a number of significant statements:

    • We should aim to vaccinate every animal, and to vaccinate each individual less frequently. (p. 2)

    • …we should aim to reduce the ‘vaccine load’ on individual animals in order to minimise the potential for adverse reactions to vaccine products. (p. 3)

    • Vaccines should not be given needlessly. Core vaccines should not be given any more frequently than every three years after the 12 month booster injection following the puppy/kitten series. (p. 2)

    • In the case of dogs, the Fact Sheets of the WSAVA guidelines note that duration of immunity after vaccination with MLV vaccines is 7 years or longer, based on challenge and serological studies, for Canine Parvovirus Type 2 (CPV-2), Canine Adenovirus (CAV-2) and Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) vaccines. (pp. 15-17)

    In regards to duration of immunity, Professor Ronald Schultz, an expert in immunology and a member of the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group, notes:

    “I believe that dogs and cats vaccinated as puppies and kittens should be revaccinated at 1 year of age with the vaccines used earlier. After that I do not believe there is an immunologic need to revaccinate annually with CDV, CPV-2, CAV-2…” (Ref: Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs. Veterinary Medicine, March 1998, pp. 233-254).

    If your vet sends you an annual reminder to have your adult dog revaccinated with the core MLV vaccines for parvovirus, adenovirus and distemper, challenge him. The latest scientifically based guidelines state that it is not necessary for adult dogs to have these vaccinations every year of their life. It is of no benefit and actually puts the dog needlessly at risk of an adverse reaction.

    I learned this the hard way when my dog became very sick after her last unnecessary revaccination with core MLV vaccines. She had six annual boosters during her life, most of which were unnecessary, and needlessly put her at risk of an adverse reaction. She is now dead.

    I have been researching this subject since her death last September and I am shocked by what I have discovered. Australia is way behind on this issue. A culture of unnecessary and possibly harmful over-vaccination with core MLV vaccines has become entrenched.

    Read the WSAVA Dog and Cat Vaccination Guidelines and decide for yourself.

    People should be informed before they make the decision to revaccinate their pets. There are serious risks involved with over-vaccination.

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