My grandmother used to say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Those words have been so true this week. I have seen several, very similar cases.

“How could she have parvo? She’s had a parvo shot.”

This was the question asked by Josh and his wife Crystal who brought Velvet to my office. Velvet is one of the most beautiful 8-month-old chocolate labs I have ever seen. To top it off she has had tons of training and can find antlers that deer have dropped in the woods. Parvo is a disease of canines that causes extreme vomiting and diarrhea. Even worse, the disease can be fatal.
The kicker is that the disease can is preventable with appropriate vaccination. The meaning of “appropriate” is something that could use an explanation. Puppies typically receive a vaccine every 3 to 4 weeks starting at 6 weeks of age and continuing on until 4 to 5 months old. Velvet received one.

Why so many? The antibodies they receive from their mother are depleting as they age, and their immune system has to work up to the task of protecting itself. Once they are of appropriate age, they typically only need vaccination every 1 to 3 years, depending on the product used.

But what has become of Velvet? She is on the tail end of some intensive care. She has a handful of medication she takes, a strict hydration plan and is enjoying many cozy warm blankets. Thanks to her dedicated owners she is expected to be back in the woods in a few short weeks, nose to the ground in search of the scents she seeks, with Josh and Crystal trying to keep up. She may just make it back out there in time to find a few antlers.