An Emergency Vet Visit Saves a Life

A black and white dog sits on a path outside.

Riley on a walk outside.

By Jessica Corvinus

Ben and I were so excited to foster a puppy. When I picked our puppy up to bring her home I actually squealed with excitement. She was so wiggly, happy, and snuggly! She was just romping around the yard having a great time, and I could not wait to get her home to run around with my playful dog, Reggie. I even named her Riley because Reggie and Riley sounded cute together (and yes, I already thought we would foster fail with this dog.)

Reggie and Riley were getting along great. After a few hours, Riley looked so tired! She lied down and stopped engaging. I assumed it was from all of the playing. Then, she threw up her dinner. I figured that was also from all of the playing.

But every half hour or so she kept getting sick, even after there was not anything else to throw up. She was getting sick more frequently, and it was just a white foamy mucus blob. Her stomach was making the loudest noises that I could hear from across the room. She wouldn’t move and just kept throwing up the white stuff.

A black and white dog sits in a car seat.

Riley takes a ride.

After a few hours, at least a dozen “accidents” and several google searches, we decided that this was not normal puppy stuff and she needed to get to a vet ASAP. All signs pointed to parvovirus. It was the middle of the night so I could not take her to any clinic–emergency was our only option, and we definitely felt a sense of urgency. I called one of our partner vets and immediately called the number they listed in their voicemail for emergencies.

The 10 minute car ride to the emergency vet seemed like an hour. The puppy who was playful and spirited at 5:00 p.m. was almost lifeless at 3:00 a.m. Ben and I were both crying the whole way there and we continued to cry when the vet came back to tell us Riley indeed tested positive for parvovirus. I remember calling Tiana and just being so scared and upset–and of course feeling terrible that I had to call her at that hour to give her the news.

After several days at the vet and being on a puppy IV, Riley came home and was back to her wiggly, happy self. She was such a little trooper and we were ecstatic to have her back with us. If we had waited through the night, Riley would not have made it. That trip to the emergency vet saved her life.

Parvovirus has a very small treatment window and no “cure,” so you have to start treating symptoms immediately. I am so thankful that we made the decision that we did, even though we knew how much it would cost the rescue.

A black and white dog sits on a dog bed in a car seat.

Riley on her bed.

Soon after Riley was fully recovered she was adopted by a friend. Even though Ben and I did not foster fail, we kept her close and still get to see her. She is now Penny (or as we call her, Penny Wiggles), and she is the sweetest, happiest, and most playful pup. She is so full of life and energy! We are so lucky to have her in our lives.

Interested in fostering great dogs like Riley? Check out our foster page.

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