I was sent a link to some German Wirehair Pointer mix puppies on Craigslist at the end of January. I reached out to the person that listed the litter and asked if they would surrender the puppies to Illinois Birddog Rescue. It's dangerous for any dog or puppy to be listed on Craigslist for free, as so many of these animals get sold for research or are used for pitbull training bait.
Thankfully we got the puppies moved to a short-term foster in St. Louis but were alarmed as none had any puppy vaccinations or wormer. We got them to the vet two days later for their 1st parvo/distemper vaccine, but a fecal on one of the puppies revealed a nasty intestinal parasite called hookworm. The next day, the puppies moved to a longer-term foster in the Chicago area and continued their Panacur wormer and started on proactive doxycycline just in case of any underlying tick-borne disease.
The puppies also had some bite wounds from each other, needed some oral cephalexin and topical medication, some had ear infections, and Fannie Mae has a displaced tooth under her tongue.
The puppies were doing well, but on Sunday, February 20th, Godiva became lethargic, had some diarrhea and was vomiting. The biggest concern was if we were too late with their puppy vaccinations, and Godiva was breaking with parvovirus. We found an emergency vet and rushed her over. My worst nightmare-- a sick puppy on a Sunday night and emergency vet costs... The parvo test was thankfully negative, but we still had a sick puppy on our hands. She was given fluids, a Cerenia injection for nausea and some metronidazole to help with her upset tummy.
The next day Godiva went to see Dr. Rimkunas at Homestead Animal Hospital as she still was a little weak. She was given more fluids and Cerenia, and she was to continue her Metronidazole. We also got new fecals for her and sister Fannie Mae to see if that offered some answers. ARRGGGHHH both puppies were infected with protozoa called Giardia. We could also assume the whole litter was infected as they may have had it when they came in from Missouri, and the first fecal missed it. Usually, Panacur helps treat Giardia- but the whole litter also needs to start on the Metronidazole. Giardiafest-- BOO!!!!!!
With the cost of ER bills, extra medication, and new blood work to start soon, our adoption donation for each puppy will not cover the cost of our expenses. It never does, especially as we assume every puppy we bring in may already be infected from an infected mother for tick-borne disease. Every litter we have ever brought in from Missouri has been infected, but because we test a few puppies and require lab work at 8 months old before spays and neuters, we catch most of it. As Dr. Rimkunas whelped a litter puppies from an infected beagle he eventually adopted- he is supportive of our extra efforts to help our litters get the best care before adoption.
As frustrating as the hookworms and Giardia is, we are relieved we are not dealing with parvovirus and puppies fighting for their lives. No one wants to adopt a sick puppy- but we are doing our best to help these babies get better and find loving forever homes.
All of this extra care adds up fast, so we would like to see if we can get some support from the IBR family for this precious litter because we have a lot of dogs and puppies in our program that also need expensive vetting care.