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Canine Trauma

Chance’s Story
“A very determined puppy that fights to be with his family”

Patti Whitney - Copyright 2010

Part 1 of 2.. Click on Pictures for Larger Images

The summer of 2010, the kids and I started looking for a new dog to add to our family.  I did not want to buy a dog, I wanted to rescue one.  I decided that we needed a dog older than one year old because we already have a fifteen year old dog.  We started looking on the internet.  There are many rescue organizations out there so we felt over whelmed by what we saw.  We did not have any idea of what breed w e were looking for.  We visited our local shelter and not one dog pulled on our heart strings.  We also checked out a couple of rescues groups in the pet stores, but nothing.  While on the internet I found a rescue about 30 miles away and thought about going.  A couple days later we went.  This rescue was in the back of a feed store.  As we entered the store we could hear the sounds of puppies barking.  This made us very excited.  When we found the kennels there were many puppies.  They were so cute.  We watched them for a while.  We really enjoyed seeing them play.  There were not any older dogs.  So we were about to leave when I saw a little brown wire terrier in the center kennel.  My daughter caught eye of him at about the same time.  What a cutie.  He was full of energy.  We watched as he ran around the kennel and played with the puppy in the kennel next to him.  He melted our hearts.  Our first thought about getting on older dog no longer mattered, as he was the one.  We could not wait to hold him.  But the policy at the center was that the animals could not be handled because of the possibility of exposure to possible illnesses.  This was very hard because we wanted to take him with us.  I filled out all the paperwork and waited for an answer on whether we could adopt him.  The answer was yes.  There was a small problem, though. Our puppy, along with all the dogs in the center, had diarrhea.  I was told that a dog food company representative came in and gave all the dogs a treat that was for adult dogs only and that was what gave them diarrhea.  The young man helping us suggested that we leave the puppy that night until the diarrhea stopped.  That was fine with me.  That night we went shopping for our new puppy.  We bought a bed, puppy pads, a dish, and lots of toys.  That whole evening we did nothing but talk about our new family member.  We all were suggesting names for him and could not come up with the perfect one.  The kids planned out a schedule that let them take turns on caring for the puppy.  We were all excited.

The next day we went to get our new puppy.  Everything was perfect.  The moment I held this little guy I was in love with him.  The kids could not put him down. They too were instantly attached to him.  As we were leaving, the young woman who was helping us said that the puppy was on an antibiotic for a runny nose. I would need to give him two more doses.  That was fine with me. We just wanted to get our puppy home.

On the way home the puppy vomited.  I was thinking that it was car sickness.  When we arrived home things were great.  Our puppy was running around chasing my son and playing with all his new toys.  He was happy to be home with his new family.  We were all working together to make a safe environment for our puppy.  We put up gates in the kitchen and moved away plants.  We did not want anything in the way of not keeping our puppy safe.  That night we decided on a name for him.  Everyone agreed.  It was “Chance”, because we were giving him a second chance in life.  The amazing thing was that he answered to his name right away.  That night Chance and my son slept together on the floor and they both slept all night.

The next morning Chance and my son were up early.  Again Chance was chasing him around, playing with his toys and taking naps in my sons lap.  They were bonding.  They looked just like buddies.  That morning when I fed Chance he was not interested in the food.  It had been 15 years since I took care of a puppy and I thought I remembered that puppies were always hungry.  But Chance was not.  He continued to play and sleep a lot and so I was not alarmed.  By the evening he had only eaten about a quarter cup of food all day.  That night was uneventful and everyone slept well.
The next morning when I awoke my son was playing without Chance.  I asked him where the puppy was and he said that he was tired and still sleeping.  I went to check on Chance and he was sound asleep.  Later that morning my son said that Chance had diarrhea in the morning.  On and off throughout the day Chance slept and played, but he slept more than he played.  I began to worry when I realized that he ate only about a tablespoon of food that day.

When we adopted Chance I was given a voucher for a free pet exam.  But it was about 25 miles away from home.  I decided to use it anyway.  Our puppy was getter sicker and sicker.  He began to vomit.  And by the time we reached the veterinarian clinic,  he was running a fever.  Chance tested positive for Parvo.  We were devastated.

The veterinarian recommended that I take Chance to the animal hospital close to my home.  He said that they could offer more help medically then his hospital could.  I called my vet right away who said to bring Chance right in.  On the way Chance started having bloody diarrhea.

When we arrived the receptionist asked if I would please leave Chance outside and that a  technician would come and get him.  I had heard of Parvo before but I did not understand the severity of it.  I knew at that time this was serious.  Dr Bowman examined our puppy and agreed that he had Parvo.  She explained to us that many dogs do not survive this illness and that there are different strains.  But he had a 75 % chance to survive with help. Dr. Bowman continued that there were different strains of Parvo, and if Chance had the severe strain, his chances of survival were less.  I could not believe my ears.  We had only got to enjoy this beautiful little puppy for two days.  And now there was a chance that he would be taken away from us.  The doctor continued to talk to us about what to expect and I was finding it very hard to concentrate on her words.  She also told us about all the cleaning we had to do at home.  The Parvo virus can only be killed with bleach and water. And it can live on organic material for 6 months to a year.  We also were told to notify all those who handled Chance that he had Parvo because they could carry it home to their own dog. This was a lot to comprehend.   I had no idea what was ahead.  When they took Chance away, our hearts began to hurt.

When we got home we had lots to do.  We had to wipe down everything with bleach and water that Chance had come in contact with.  This kept our minds busy and we all had huge expectation that our puppy would be coming home soon.

The next day Chance got even sicker.  He had lots of bloody diarrhea and vomiting.  Our veterinarian said that this was very typical and that it could be three or four more days before he could go home.  We desperately wanted to see him but we were denied due to possible cross contamination.

The next day I called to check on our little puppy.  This time I spoke to Dr. Kelly.  She said that Chance was very sick and his blood tests were not looking good at all.  Chance had no protein and his white cells were going down.  Chance needed plasma right away in order to help him.  Dr. Kelly also said for me to come in and see Chance. She felt that visits from home could improve the puppy’s health.  I wondered since we only had Chance for a couple days if he would even know me. After my visit, Chance did improve slightly.

As the days went on Chance became weak and very lethargic.  I received a phone call and it was the doctor.  She said that Chance was very bad and may not make it through the night. But there was a good chance that by giving Chance more plasma he could improve. I said just do it, we wanted our puppy.

Chance made it through the night but with many complications.  At one point Chance stopped breathing and the doctor revived him.  His temperature kept going down.  His white blood cells were almost gone and his blood pressure was seriously low.  Again, I was told that Chance may not make it through the night.

Click Here to Continue to Page 2 of Chance's Story

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