As his name suggests, Hero is one courageous canine. Recently combating Canine Parvovirus at The Lost Dogs’ Home Veterinary Clinic, Hero has now completely recovered and is back to his energetic self.
Proud owner and friend, Johnny Bounsall, shares his intimate story about the rewards of adopting an animal and their journey dealing with the viral disease.
The Story of a Hero
As a donor of The Lost Dogs’ Home, I receive regular newsletters that have profiles on dogs up for adoption. When I saw a photo of a darling little tri-colour Kelpie, I just knew he was going to be our new dog. Although I was hesitant with doing the long drive to the Echuca shelter, I convinced myself to leave work early one Wednesday and hit the road.
On adopting Hero, the long drive back home to Bendigo was rather eventful. Hero could not contain his excitement. I had to battle with keeping him off my lap, shoulders, head and pretty much anywhere he could nuzzle his way into. Eventually, I had to divide our two seats with my skateboards and after numerous failed attempts to break through this new barricade he settled for having a chew on the passenger side door, which I decided was better than us having a car accident!
When I brought Hero home everyone fast fell in love with this little energy bunny. He’s certainly a live wire as my Dad put it…
Sadly within the first week of bringing him home, his energy levels dwindled and when I arrived home after work one day, he no longer greeted me with an enthusiasm. Instead, I was confronted with a tired and uninterested dog.
When Hero stopped eating I began to worry and made plans to take him to The Lost Dogs’ Home Vet Clinic in North Melbourne for a check-up. Thinking that Hero just had a stomach ache I assumed the Vet would take some tests and give me a couple of tablets for me to pop in with his dinner. I soon found out that this was not the case.
To my absolute horror the Vet came out from his testing room and advised me that poor little Hero had Parvovirus and it was unlikely that he would make it through the night. Needless to say I was beside myself. I broke out in tears over this little mutt who had only just recently come into my life and was an absolute wreck wondering what would become of my fury little friend.
I rang the Vet first thing the following day, obviously extremely nervous with what may have been the outcome. Much to my joy he informed me that Hero was in fact living up to his name and was showing signs of improvement!
I visited Hero every day while he was in quarantine. Seeing Hero resting in his pen with tubes and wires coming out of him was heartbreaking, but knowing that he was slowly getting better was all I needed to make me feel better.
I got extremely emotional when I got a chance to give Hero a hug, he bounded all over me just like the little puppy I had driving home with me from Echuca- my dog was back! Within a minute he calmed down and rested his little chin on my arm, gave a sigh and closed his eyes. The nurse informed me that he had just used up all of his days energy saying hello to me.
Hero is incredibly smart and a very fast learner. He speaks French first and foremost and also responds to Italian and English. He paddle boards on the bay with me and is due for his first cattle class in two weeks’ time.
I couldn’t be happier with Hero, he’s a perfect fit in our life and it’s almost as if he’s filled a gap which I didn’t even know was there. Although having dogs has always been normal in our household, I’ve never owned a dog as an adult and the idea was actually given to me by my doctor to help me battle with my depression.
After having Hero a year I highly recommend those battling depression consider owning a dog if they are in the right circumstance to. He seems to read my moods like no one else can and most importantly, he’s always there.
I was and remain so thankful that he was taken such good care of by the staff at North Melbourne.
Canine Parvovirus disease is a viral and potentially fatal infection affecting dogs with typical symptoms including severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The main source of the virus is faeces of infected dogs and susceptible animals become infected by ingesting the virus.
Parvovirus can be prevented and treated with varying success, but needs to be tackled early with a vaccination.
Adult dogs: are fully protected two weeks following a single injection of the vaccine.
Puppies: require two shots up to four weeks apart in order to be fully protected. If the mother of the puppy has received a vaccination, the puppy is also protected up until they are eight weeks old.
The Lost Dogs’ Home controlling Parvovirus
As a provision, some dogs are given a vaccination against the viral disease immediately on arriving at the Home. Their individual levels of protection however, will vary depending on their vaccination history- which can be difficult for the Home to attain.
A small number of dogs, such as Hero, will arrive at the Home at a stage when their protection from their mother is waning and therefore, have only a window of time before the vaccine becomes effective.
We are pleased that Hero responded well to the treatment and is now enjoying a healthy life with his new owner.