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Posts: 2
We just put our 17 year old Shi tzu down in September and finally decided to get a puppy for our daughter. He was a miniature schnauzer and the most perfect puppy in the world. I didn’t think I could love another dog after my Dobson passed away, but from the moment I laid eyes on our little Louie he stole my heart! We got him one week ago and gave him to our daughter as an early surprise Christmas gift. We were all in love. We immediately took him to the pet store to buy puppy supplies and I think that’s when he contracted Parvo! He was fine until Wednesday when he was a little less playful and then on Thursday didn’t seem very interested in food. I took him to the vet and they quickly diagnosed it, definitely Parvo. At this time he was 9 weeks old and 3.8lbs. We started treatment at home and treated with SC fluids, antibiotics, and anti-nausea meds. He became weak, but still drinking a little on Friday. Saturday night started throwing up and having pretty severe diarrhea. By Saturday afternoon he was unresponsive and having uncontrollable diarrhea while laying down. He was crying out in pain and shaking. We rushed him to the emergency vet and they said they could start aggressive treatment, but his prognosis wasn’t good. The only other option was euthanasia. I was devastated! We did it because he was in extreme pain and whimpering with every breath. I wish I could have done more or went ahead and paid to have him hospitalized in the beginning. I’m completely distraught and don’t know how to live with the guilt that I may have taken him to an area where he may have contracted the virus and maybe didn’t do enough to counteract the dehydration. Please help

Posts: 71
I’m so sorry for your recent losses, I know it’s just heartbreaking.

One of the first emotions we all seem to feel when we lose one of our beloved pets is guilt, it’s normal but I know that doesn’t help you right now. Really though, please please don’t feel guilty, how on earth would you know that this was going to happen when all you were doing with good intentions is taking him to a pet store, getting supplies in preparation for a happy loving life with you and your family. You did nothing wrong.

There are always so many ‘what ifs’ in everything, we are only human, we can’t see into the future so don’t let them destroy you. From what you have said it seems like you did all you could for your little Louie and in the end you did the most loving thing which was to free him of pain and let him go.

It doesn’t seem to matter how long they are in our lives, however long or short, the bond and the love we have for them will always be there and he’ll always be in your heart and he knows that.

Take care, you need to be kind to yourself and not punish yourself. Hugs to you and your family.

Vicky x

Posts: 34
Please don't blame yourself.   Have you talked to a vet about how likely it was that the puppy contracted parvo from the pet store?  I would have to think that the puppy had parvo when you adopted him.  Was he purchased from a reputable breeder? 

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I think you did the best you could.  You got him to the vet right away.  It's hard though because we always feel guilty no matter what we do.

If you can, talk to your vet to see if you can get some answers.  I know it won't change things, but maybe it will help to understand exactly what happened.


Posts: 2
Thank you so much for the supportive comments. I know I’m human, but just keep replaying the whole thing over and over. It all happened so fast! The vet said it’s possible he did get it at the pet store, she said the incubation period is 5 days, however, I have a friend who is also a vet (he was out of the country during this time) who told me it’s unlikely the pet store was the culprit because the incubation period is 7-10 days. I know, somewhat inconsistent information. We also contacted the breeder and she said she didn’t have any other sick puppies and he had already had 2 of his shots. I just don’t understand. If I could do it over I would have immediately taken him to the vet for hospitalization regardless of the cost. It’s just that, other than the lethargy and one episode of diarrhea and one episode of vomiting he didn’t seem that sick at the time. He would still follow me around the house and actually ate a small bowl of food when we got home. I chose to treat him at home because I couldn’t stand the thought of taking him to a strange place and leaving him. I didn’t want him to feel abandoned. Although I treated him at home, as I read more and more about Parvo I’ve realized I wasn’t aggressive enough, I should have given more fluids, forced more Pedialyte, chicken broth, etc. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through! He suffered so much and was so innocent. I can’t eat or sleep and constantly think about him. He was so perfect and I miss him so much!

Posts: 23
I'm so sorry for your loss.. that is such a sad story and you did all you could.  I do the same thing to myself.. back track over every single decision and then think I should have done something different or acted sooner and this tragic loss could have been stopped.  I think blaming oneself is part of feeling so helpless when death takes your beloved baby.
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