Griffey - Our Parvo Puppy

Griffey's Parvo Story
Amber and I went to a dog shelter last Saturday to get a new puppy. The two dogs we really wanted to see were dropped at a shelter in Wasco, CA before coming up to Portland. We met Griffey - a Chocolate Lab, Pit Bull, Chesapeake Retriever mix - and his brother, Rufio, and fell in love with both. Unfortunately, we could only care for one. We walked out with Griffey (well, Griffey wasn't leash trained so he made us carry him while we walked) and couldn't have been happier to add him to our family.

We believed he was a mellow dog; very laid back and patient with our other "big dog," Jeter (a 9 year old Chihuahua). After awhile, though, we began to be worried because he wasn't nearly as playful as we expected a puppy to be. He definitely had Kennel Cough, but also began vomiting. Monday evening we took him into the vet to get examined. Because his Parvo test at the shelter came back negative, that illness was ruled out and we were sent home with some de-worming medication and anti-biotics.

Griffey wasn't having it. He wouldn't eat and began to have diarrhea, which really started to worry us. Then on Tuesday afternoon we got a call from the shelter letting us know that Rufio (brother) had just tested positive for the Parvovirus.

I immediately left work to go take Griffey in to be tested. Our worst fears were confirmed, he had Parvo. Left untreated, there is over a 90% mortality rate in puppies. We had a decision to make: return him to the shelter, pay for his aggressive treatment, or put him down. Without hesitation we decided to treat. He was already a part of the family and had stolen our hearts.

From Tuesday afternoon through Monday evening, Griffey was under veterinary care around the clock. He has been extremely sick. In fact, on Friday morning we got a call letting us know that we would have a tough decision to make. Griffey was suffering so much: his heart rate was extremely high and his blood pressure very low. He could have gone into cardiac arrest and died any minute, we were told. We gave the vets complete permission to do whatever they could to save Griffey.

He has had two plasma transfusions, numerous anti-nausea/anti-diarrhea medications, IV fluids, IV nutrients (because his stomach couldn't hold anything), and a feeding tube. All told, he spent 7 days in the critical care isolation unit in the hospital.

Everyday we have been visiting him (and his brother, who was being treated at the same critical care clinic) and seeing his progress, up and down. Through it all, he has fought and always perked up when we visited. Finally, on Sunday, he had appeared to come out of that dark place and was acting more like a puppy. Amber got the kisses she had been waiting for, he had eaten a little food, and his tail was wagging while he was playing with a toy. On Monday night, we finally got to bring him home. However, Tuesday evening he started vomiting again and, rather than take any chances, we took him back for another 24 hours of care. He came home for good on Wednesday.

We were expecting a financial impact (our vet initially told us $1,500-$2,000 or maybe more) and once we started, we firmly believed we needed to do whatever we could do save him. Maybe we were foolish, but the thought of just letting Griffey go couldn't even cross our minds. I mean, look at his eyes! He has fought through this whole ordeal, but our veterinary bills total much more than we anticipated.

Everyone has been unbelievably supportive. All the prayers and well wishes have, no doubt, helped him through even when the vets didn't hold out a lot of hope. We can't thank our veterinarians, friends, family, and even those who don't know us or Griffey, enough. Any sort of additional support you can offer isn't to help us financially, it's to reward Griffey for fighting so hard to get to live a long, healthy, happy life! Thank you everyone!
  • Victoria Pruett 
    • $20 
    • 96 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 96 mos
  • Anna Ruder 
    • $20 
    • 96 mos
  • Aaron Winer 
    • $10 
    • 96 mos
  • Jenna Lindstrom 
    • $20 
    • 96 mos
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Reese McCulley 
Oregon, OR
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