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September - Moss

02nd Apr 2017

Our pet of the month for September goes to Moss - a 2 month old Border Collie pup.

After initially settling in well to his new home Moss began to concern his new owners as he was very lethargic and was losing weight. After coming in for a consultation the decision was made to admit him to our hospital for bloods, intravenous fluid therapy and medication. Moss was given medications to prevent him from feeling nauseous and was given antibiotics to help combat infection and bring down his high body temperature. 

After 24 hours in the hospital Moss began to vomit profusely and also had severe diarrhoea. As Moss was only 8 weeks old and had not yet completed his full initial vaccine course (which in normal cases is completed by 12 weeks of age) an internal laboratory test was run to check for a disease called Parvovirus. This is tested with a faecal sample and produces a positive or negative result within ten minutes. Unfortunately Moss’ results for Parvovirus came back as positive.

Parvovirus is highly contagious infection that attacks the gastrointestinal tract. It is very resistant to heat and disinfectant and can remain in the environment for up to a year afterwards. Infection normally occurs from direct contact with an infected dog, however, it can also easily be transmitted via contaminated shoes, clothes and other objects. The virus is easily picked up in puppies, unvaccinated dogs or in dogs where yearly vaccinations have lapsed and sadly due to the aggressive nature of the infection can often result in death.

The prognosis for such a young puppy with parvovirus is not good but the decision was made to nurse Moss intensively and hope that the infection was caught early enough to enable him to make a recovery.

Moss was placed into our isolation unit and was ‘barrier nursed’. This means that full body protection is used when nursing a patient to prevent the spread of the disease to the rest of the hospital and practice. Aprons, gloves and shoe covers were worn and disposed after each contact with Moss and disinfectant foot baths were placed around the practice.

After 2 days of intense nursing Moss was starting to feel a lot better and seemed to have gotten over the worst of the illness. His prognosis was looking better and he was beginning to eat again and was not vomiting or passing diarrhoea.

He soon began to revert back to his cheeky puppy ways, managing to chew through 3 drip lines! On the 12th August a repeat parvovirus test was run – and the result was now negative! Moss was now eating, drinking and very playful and it was time to go home!

We saw him for a recheck 2 days after being discharged and his recovery was remarkable. He is now a happy, crazy puppy who doesn’t have a care in the world! 

We think that Moss deserves to pet of the month as he has had such a horrible experience at such a young age and was so brave whilst hospitalised. We love his waggy tail and happy attitude to life and we are so glad that he was lucky enough to pull through parvovirus!

Symptoms of parvo virus can include:


  • Sudden onset of bloody diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Innappetance


It is important to note that many dogs do not show all of the above signs


It is vital that all dogs receive their first set of injections as a puppy and come back yearly for boosters to keep immunity levels and prevent contracting parvo-virus along with other very serious and potentially fatal illnesses. Please speak to a member of staff about booking your pet in for vaccinations at Green Pastures Vets

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