Havre Daily News - News you can use

Shadow still alive, was not poisoned

Diagnosed with parvovirus, vet urges vaccinations


September 17, 2013

Lindsay Brown

Shadow, a ten-month-old lab mix, is seen with Skyler Buck, 12, left, and Mason Buck, 15, earlier this month. Shadow, spent several days in the Bear Paw Veterinary Clinic with severe symptoms. Shadow's owner initially believed he had been poisoned, but Dr. Paul McCann has diagnosed Shadow with parvovirus.

Shadow the dog, introduced to the community in a Havre Daily News article Wednesday, was sent home after bouncing back from his illness.

Carrie Smith, Shadow’s owner, was allowed to take Shadow back home to recover after she paid the veterinary bills in full Friday.

Smith, who on Wednesday decided to have her 10-month-old lab mix to sleep to ease its suffering from what she was convinced was an intentional poisoning, was asked by her veterinarian to wait a couple more days before going through with the decision.

What was thought to be poisoning turned out to be the canine parvovirus.

“Shadow is home now, and though he is going to be on medication for a while, he seems to be feeling somewhat better,” Smith said Friday. “Though, he is not 100 percent yet.”

Smith said Monday that Shadow was still getting his energy back and was on a special diet and antibiotics.

“The kids spent the weekend spoiling him rotten,” Smith said. “Can’t tell you how grateful we are for the support we received from the community.”

According to Smith, after the community heard of Shadow’s dilemma, donations were “pouring in” to Henny Penny Cupcakes and over $500 was donated to Bear Paw Veterinary Clinic to help with the bills.

“I can’t tell you how many messages, calls, prayers have come in for Shadow,” Smith said.

The final bill from the veterinary clinic came out to $790, plus $250 for the deposit when she took Shadow to the clinic, though “Shadow will have additional bills,” Smith said.

Out of the $1,040 of initial total of bills from Bear Paw Veterinary Clinic, Smith paid $305 and community members who donated to her paid $735.

Smith said she will be using the 10 percent of Henny Penny Cupcake’s sales last week that will be donated to her to pay for Shadow’s upcoming bills.

She will be sending Shadow to Eastside Animal Hospital for follow-ups and to do his shots.

The dog was diagnosed with canine parvovirus, a “highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness” in dogs, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ website.

The symptoms of canine parvovirus are “lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite and bloody, foul-smelling diarrhea that can lead to life-threatening dehydration,” according to the ASPCA website.

Puppies who have not been vaccinated are more susceptible to the virus.

“When the dog was presented to Dr. Peterson of the sixth, it was not properly immunized,” said Dr. Paul McCann of Bear Paw Veterinary Services.

“I’d like to see the public learn to recognize parvo,” McCann said. “(Smith) said the vaccines had been done, but I think there was some confusion about this.”

McCann said when the dog was brought in, it was vomiting blood and that many things can cause this. Once Shadow began to show blood in his stool, the possible causes was narrowed down and he was tested for parvovirus.

The parvovirus is resilient and can incubate for a period of 4-14 days, McCann said.

“It may be days before your dog begins to show signs,” McCann said.

McCann said that poisoning was one of six possible reasons for the dog’s illness presented to the owners and the poisoning option was the one latched on to.

McCann said he hopes the community will take into consideration that the parvovirus vaccination is not required to be administered to dogs like the vaccination for rabies is due to parvovirus not posing a threat to human health.

The vaccination is available over the counter, but many people will still incorrectly administer it to their animals.

“The vaccine is very effective if it’s done properly,” McCann said.

As of Monday, Shadow was showing signs of recovery and will be treated for the canine parvovirus at the Eastside Animal Hospital, his usual veterinary clinic.


Reader Comments

moosemt writes:

Sounds like she shouldn't have went off crying wolf. She just needed to take better care of her pup. This dog could have passed it on to other dogs to. Glad the dog is getting better. Whew what a scare.

dsltruck writes:

If you can't afford to take care of a sick dog then you shouldn't own a dog! This is wrong!

dsrobins writes:

Welcome back, Shadow. Congratulations to you and the two boys.

Myopinion writes:

I cannot believe these people are going to keep the money to pay for the vet bills. They played people's feelings by telling the entire community, through the newspaper and facebook, their dog was poisoned after the vet told them it could be one of SIX reasons for the symptoms. The money needs to be given back or donated not used to pay vet bills that could have been avoided by properly vaccinating their so called therapy dog.

What3 writes:

I wonder how this story came to the attention of the HDN? If this dog was in fact not poisoned, and it's illness is due to the negligence of this owner failing to properly vaccinate her dog, shouldn't all of the donations be returned? That seems like it'd be the right thing to do!!


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