Multim In Parvo

Last night, as I was getting home from work, I received an email with the title "Notification Letter to Parents".

I assumed that it was a mistake, or spam -  but it was from our kennel where we board the Doodlebug.

In short, one of her fellow Thanksgiving boarders had been diagnosed with Parvo.  He had been vaccinated, was not ill during his stay, and didn't "catch" it at the kennel.

I don't doubt any of that to be true.  Our kennel is all over it with vaccinations - they require records, and they stay on top of it.  I've gotten calls well in advance of a stay with a reminder.  It's a clean facility, and I firmly believe that they take good care of their guests.

Piper loves it there.  Lola did not.  And they were honest with me.  They said she found it stressful and would do better with a pet sitter.  They had nothing to gain in telling me that.  But when the time came to kennel Piper, they were our first choice.  It's not close to the house, but they're just good. 

So, my initial thought was that I really didn't need to worry - after all, Piper is vaccinated, she's not a puppy, not a senior, and her immune system is A-OK. 

But today, the little brain gremlins started talking to me, and the more I talked it through, and thought about it, the more I decided I might need to worry. 

Now, let's be clear - she's asymptomatic.  The only one symptom I could even sort of argue is lethargy - and it's not so much that she's lethargic - she plays with gusto.  But when she's done, she's out like a light.  Dogs sleep a lot.  But lethargy?  Not really.

Anyway, I called my vet's office tonight right before they closed and spoke with their receptionist, who I have known for nearly 15 years.  He is lovely, friendly and empathetic.  He put me on the phone with Dr. G, who I also love.  We chatted, and she said I don't need to worry -  no symptoms, not a likely candidate, and we're at the end of what would be the incubation period.  She said keep and eye on her, call if I have questions, and bring her in if things change.

So, even though the whole thing was a little scary, I have to give props where they are due.

  1. Thank you, kennel, for understanding that I am Piper's parent.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.  While I downplay that relationship to people with human kids, my fellow pet parents know how I feel.  I am Mommy.  I realize it's not the same, but until they come up with a word that means more than just "owner" or "master" - and has more emotional gravitas than "caregiver", I'm her parent.
  2. Thanks for letting us know.  I'm sure you had to field a ton of calls, I suspect people cancelled, wanted refunds and were just generally assholes.  And that's a shame.  Your staff is tops.  They know my girl, they love her, and they take good care of her.  But you wrote a tough letter exceptionally well, with honesty, compassion, and technical expertise.  It was scary, yes - but also heartfelt, thorough, and professional.
  3. Thanks for your compassion toward the sick dog.  You explained that his vet was working to understand how a vaccinated dog caught Parvo.  You could have vilified the dog or his owner, but you didn't, and that was classy.
  4. Thanks to my vet's office for taking a call at 5:42 on a Friday, and not blowing me off because it was eighteen minutes to quitting time.  Thanks to the receptionist who understood my angst, and got me on the phone with a doctor who knows my girl, knows I'm crazy, and respects all of it.
  5. Thanks to my vet for her reassurance, patience, and kindness.  I have said, and I mean it - I wish my doctors were as good as Piper's.   She told me to call back with questions - "That's what we're here for".  This woman is gentle and kind, and she is always sweet to us.
So, for now, Piper is good to go.  I will take her back to the kennel for Christmas, and I am confident in doing it.

But my advice to you all is - don't use the internet to assuage fears.  It won't do that.  The whole model of how the internet works is based on giving just enough information to require more research.   It's a massive rabbit hole.