Sally was only 11 weeks old and fighting for her life when she arrived in the care of the Ontario SPCA Sudbury & District Animal Centre. Lethargic, dehydrated and emaciated, Sally tested positive for parvovirus, a highly contagious and dangerous virus that largely targets the gastrointestinal system. Puppies are especially vulnerable to this life-threatening virus, but unvaccinated adult dogs are at risk as well.
The team sprang into action immediately to find a veterinary clinic to help save her life. The veterinarian gave Sally IV fluids and monitored her through the night. The animal care team waited anxiously until news came the next day – Sally had made it through the night.
“She really had a will to live,” says Leah Earl, Manager of the Ontario SPCA Sudbury & District Animal Centre. “She was on the brink of death when she first came to us.”
Without treatment, the mortality rate in puppies is very high. The best chance at protection is to vaccinate before potential exposure. “Parvo” is very contagious and can pass through direct contact with other dogs and through feces in the environment (such as on the ground, through clothing, leashes, etc.). Parvovirus can survive in the environment for long periods of time (up to a year!), especially areas that can’t be readily cleaned and disinfected, such as grassy areas.
Treatment and recovery
Back in the care of the animal centre, Leah says Sally was isolated to prevent infecting other animals. The animal care team wore full personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering Sally’s room and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected multiple times a day. The staff also administered anti-nausea medications and antibiotics to help prevent secondary infections.
“Despite being in isolation, Sally was still extremely pleasant. It’s almost as if she knew she beat it. It was really cool to witness,” Leah says.
Soon Sally was perking up, eating on her own, and her body was beginning to function as it should. At the end of the first week, she tested negative for parvovirus, at which point she started a two-week quarantine countdown.
“She was a miracle dog,” says Leah. “We have never seen a dog so emaciated turn it around in such a short amount of time, it was just wild.”
A new home and second chance
At the end of the two weeks, Elysia and her partner Jordan made the three-hour drive to Sudbury from Barrie to meet Sally. Although Sally’s recent illness was somewhat nerve-wracking for them, Elysia says it only increased their desire to bring her home.
“We were like, she’s the underdog! She’s going to get through this and we’re going to be her family no matter what,” she says.
Elysia and Jordan brought Sally home with them that day. They decided “Sally” suited their new puppy, so they held onto the name. Since then, Elysia says they’ve been enjoying Sally’s fun quirks, and seeing her get more comfortable with their family.
Sally is the seventh dog with parvovirus to be brought to the Sudbury & District Animal Centre this year. The resources and time required to care for these puppies and provide them a second chance is costly. Please consider making a donation to help give animals like Sally a second chance. Donate today.
There are many animals in our care still waiting to find their forever homes! If you’re considering bringing an animal into your life, think about adopting. Visit our website to view animals currently available for adoption.
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