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Akai’s Survival Journey Against Canine Parvovirus

Akai’s Survival Journey Against Canine Parvovirus

Two years ago, I adopted a puppy named Akai. He was up for adoption by one of my best friends since their mama dog gave birth to him and his siblings just a month ago. And they couldn’t keep every single one of them. Upon adopting a new family member, I knew I had to be responsible enough to give him his best life. But uncertain circumstances came, and we came up against a fatal virus for dogs: Canine Parvovirus.

Akai’s Survival Journey Against Canine Parvovirus

Our First Encounter and Our Battle Against Parvo

Recent photos of our best miracle.

I was finally able to hold him on the 16th of November 2020. My best friend initially told me before bringing him in that Akai’s one eye seemed to have a problem. He was having a hard time opening his right eye. They think that his mom or siblings scratched his eye while playing. And the next day, after I got him, I tried to nurse his eye by rubbing a soft and wet cloth on it. It opened for a few hours but came back slightly closed after he took a nap. After a few days, we decided to apply pet eye drops, hoping that it would fix the problem with his eye. And it did! I was so glad that he no longer felt any inconvenience.

However, a few months passed, and we were up against a more severe kind of problem. Akai became lethargic and was not eating whatever food we gave him. His stool became soft, yet it wasn’t that smelly at first. I approached my mom about Akai’s situation, and we decided to bring him to the veterinary clinic. They ran several tests and were given antibiotics as first aid. Then confirmation came that he’s positive for the Canine parvovirus. This virus is common in newborn pups when they lack vaccines, like with anti-virus shots, which happens to be my fault. I was complacent that he wouldn’t catch it because he stays inside the house and never goes out.

What is Canine Parvovirus?

According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious viral disease that commonly causes acute gastrointestinal illness in puppies. And upon hearing that he was positive for CPV, I was devastated. Because I know that this virus could be lethal when not treated immediately. The veterinarian then advised that we confine him in their clinic. But we took him home and told the doctor that we would try to nurse and administer him with their prescribed medicines. The next day came, and he wasn’t doing any better. I finally told my mom that we must confine him to the clinic to be adequately fed, observed, and treated.

The day he got confined took two days.

The following two days made me so anxious. Every time I would receive an update from the veterinary, I was hoping it wasn’t something that would break me into pieces. They said Akai still had not defecated, which is a good sign, only that he was vomiting the food. The veterinarian, however, told me that parvovirus is very aggressive, and the survival rate remains at 50-50. In those two days, Akai was force-fed, given antibiotic shots through his IV line, and anti-bodies to protect his kidneys. Every time we’d visit him in the clinic, I would talk to him and tell him to be stronger, that he’s a very good boy, and that many treats await him home. I showed him that I was very optimistic that he would make it because I prayed so hard and even called all the saints I could remember not to take him away from our family.

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Akai, Our Parvo-Survivor

Miraculously, parvovirus being a fatal disease, Akai made it to day three. Most puppies who survive the first three-to-four days are to recover completely. The veterinary, Doc Cha, told us that we could finally take him home for his recovery stage. Every night, I would sleep beside him and check his IV fluids hourly to prevent blood backflow or air from entering his line. I would also help him pee and give him recovery foods and medicines. I was so sleep-deprived, but I’m his fur parent, and this is my responsibility to fulfill. He eventually got more active and is eating more. His goofy side was finally back, and he started to play with his toys again. I then updated Doc Cha, and finally, she declared Akai a parvovirus survivor.

Days after continuous home medication.

Moreover, I would like to take this opportunity to share my take on adopting animals, specifically dogs. There is nothing wrong with buying your dream fur babies. But I highly encourage those interested in owning one to look at adoption centers/shelters or pages on social media. There have been rising cases of stray dogs and other animals ending in animal pounds across the country, being lined up for euthanasia if they won’t get adopted. For many shelters, adoption is free, and if there are fees to be paid, it sure wouldn’t cost that much. Usually, they would require you to bring your cage, carrier, or leashes and expect you to love and take care of their rescued animal.

These dogs have gone through a lot; some even experienced near-death accidents or sickness. So before adding a member to your family, maybe you could consider adopting. They are just waiting for you to open your arms and welcome them into your life.

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