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My Free Dog Ended Up Costing Me Over $4,000

posted Mar 31, 2010, 7:26 AM by Angela G   [ updated Mar 31, 2010, 7:27 AM ]
[cross-posted from Dr. Jon's Dog Crazy Newsletter]

I wanted to share a story with you. I stopped by to see my friend Susan who was working Saturday at an Emergency Clinic. She was in the process of examining a very cute puppy - a Standard Poodle named Missy.  Missy's owner found her on Craig's List a few days before she got sick. 

Missy was diagnosed with Parvoviral Enteritis - commonly called "Parvo".  This is a contagious disease that causes severe and often life-threatening vomiting and diarrhea in puppies. It can be deadly.  If left untreated, most dogs die. 

Fortunately Parvo can be treated. Approximately 80% of puppies that acquire this virus can survive with aggressive treatment. The other great thing is that this disease is completely preventable. Vaccines can prevent it as well as lack of exposure to infected dogs or materials (it can be transmitted by any item that has the virus on it e.g. feces on shoes or brushes).  So be careful if you have a puppy. 

As I mentioned, Susan was treating Missy who had Parvo. Two days before, Susan was sure Missy was going to die but Missy took a turn for the better on Saturday.  They were thrilled. Missy kept some food down for the first time in a week and looked like she was turning the corner. (I'm so glad because Missy was adorable!) 

Anyway, Missy had been in the hospital for a full week. Out of curiosity, I asked Susan how much Missy's treatment cost and so far they were at $3,143.00. Missy had been given multiple medications, multiple plasma transfusions, intravenous fluids, you name it. But wow - that is still a lot of money!  Susan suspected that Missy needed at least 3 more days in the hospital and estimated that this "free" puppy from Craig's List would cost them about $4,000. 

Wow. It really is a lot of money - especially for a FREE puppy. 

Missy's treatment was expensive. Many people would not be able to afford it. Lots and lots of puppies are euthanized because their owners cannot afford to treat this disease. 

Until next time, 

Dr. Jon 


P.S.  I talked to Susan last night and Missy went home and is doing great!