This information is gruesome, but important to other dog owners.
A couple days ago I received a comment on Giselle’s obituary suggesting that Giselle had died of Parvo, not by swallowing glass bits as we had suspected. Chad did a quick wikipedia search and all the symptoms match:
“Canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV2, colloquioally parvo) is a contagious virus mainly affecting dogs. The disease is highly infectious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. It can be especially severe in puppies that are not protected by maternal antibodies or vaccination. It has two distinct presentations, a cardiac and intestinal form. The common signs of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and severe haemmorhagic(bloody) diarrhea. The cardiac form causes respiratory or cardiovascular failure in young puppies. Treatment often involves hospitalization at a veterinary centre. Vaccines can prevent this infection, but mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases.”
Giselle had received a set of shots when we got her, but hadn’t yet received her one-year booster shots when she died. Catching Parvo makes sense in the context of moving to a new neighborhood where she was exposed to a lot of new dog feces. We also suspect that Giselle was so small that she simply didn’t have the wherewithal to fight a serious infection.
Photo of Nabi Grace and Giselle by Joss Dimock.