Pepper the beaglier was just nine weeks old when she became a member of Vicki’s family.
“When I first met Pepper – she picked me. She sat between my legs and looked up at me with big eyes. I believe had I not taken her she would not be alive today,” shares Vicki.
You see, Vicki thought she was buying Pepper from a reputable Victorian breeder. She later discovered that Pepper was actually born in a puppy farm in New South Wales. Unbeknownst to Vicki, Pepper had been transported to Victoria and sold as if she was born in Victoria under the stricter breeding guidelines.
“I think it’s such an important thing for people to be aware of when buying from breeders, they need to check things thoroughly. This is where I went wrong,” admits Vicki.
Just three days after her arrival, Pepper became very unwell and tested positive for canine parvovirus. This highly contagious virus attacks the lining of the small intestine, leading to loss of appetite, lethargy, severe vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood. This can cause severe dehydration, shock and death, especially in small dogs and puppies. Infection arises from contact with infected animals or from contaminated environments.
Vicki opted to transfer Pepper to Lort Smith. “I knew this could be a long-term game, but I was committed regardless of the financial implications. Pepper was a lifetime decision. And I knew Lort Smith offered payment plans.
“An old housemate/close friend adopted a dog from Lort Smith and the care Lort Smith provided was a testament to their authenticity in their care for animals,” said Vicki.
Pepper spent nine days in hospital in our isolation unit. She underwent blood tests, received intravenous fluids, pain-relief and anti-nausea medication.
Vet nurses endeavoured to syringe feed Pepper however this proved unsuccessful so she was fitted with a nasal feeding tube.
Pepper also received multiple faecal transplants. This involves faeces being transplanted from a healthy donor/dog into the unwell patient to restore the balance of bacteria in their gut. In these instances, Lort Smith staff dogs came to the rescue!
“Lort Smith ensured I got communicated with twice daily. They were very honest about the fact they would let me know if it was time to say goodbye to Pepper, thankfully this never happened. They told me everything and answered all of my questions no matter how big or small.”
“I cannot stress enough how critical it is for people to do their research and are diligent in where they are getting their pets from,” warns Vicki.
We are delighted to report that Pepper has made a full recovery. She now attends doggy daycare and socialises really well with other dogs and people.
“She is rather famous and loved in my neighbourhood for how cute and sassy she is. She has earnt me many free coffees and treats from cafes just because of how cute she is and because of her wonderful nature!” laughs Vicki.
Should your dog show signs of parvo, please contact Lort Smith or your local vet immediately.