down in the grass somewhat suddenly. Since he had been on his foster mom's lap and appeared fine only a minute or two before, she thought he was just tired and needed a nap. He then made one or two moans like the first puppy did, causing the foster mom to jump up immediately and pick him up. He was already dying and moments later, he was gone. The following morning, all four remaining puppies were taken to our veterinarian, Dr. Tiffany Drach at Rootstown Veterinary Hospital, to be examined. All checked out as healthy. Blood work was run on one of them as a representational sample, and everything was normal - electrolytes, glucose levels, kidney and liver function.Two days later (Thursday, May 29), another puppy (Cozy) was observed to be in slight distress. If the foster mom had not been constantly looking for any kind of warning signs because of the previous two puppy losses, this would have been overlooked, as the slightly rapid breathing was not extreme or obvious. She picked up the pup immediately but again, it was too late. Cozy died moments later.
Within an hour, all three remaining pups were taken to Stow Kent Animal Hospital (our vet was not in at that time) along with the remains of the pup who had just died. The three survivors again checked out as "healthy". We requested a necropsy for Cozy, but Dr. Jacobson suggested that we instead send her down to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab in Reynoldsburg, Ohio as they could do much more extensive testing than the vet office could, and at a much lower cost.Cozy was transported down to the lab and the necropsy was begun the next day. The pathologist observed viral inclusions in the heart muscle, but more testing was needed to get a definitive diagnosis. Two weeks later, the lab report was complete and concluded that the puppy had positively died from parvo myocarditis - a condition where parvo infects the heart muscle of young puppies rather than the typical intestinal manifestation. It is the SAME parvo virus that usually attacks the intestines; it is NOT a different strain or mutation; it is the familiar canine parvovirus-2 (CPV2). This condition is so rare that very little information is available, even to veterinarians. Still less is known about littermates who do not initially succumb. Next, we had the three remaining pups (Chessie, Cubby, and Chumley) titer-tested to see if they'd had parvo or if perhaps by some stroke of luck, they had escaped getting it. All three tested positive for Parvo with the titer test. Meanwhile, Dr. Jacobson had been in touch with local canine cardiology veterinarian Dr. Lori Hitchcck at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital Specialists. Dr. Hitchcock offered to see our puppies to try to determine how they had been affected by the virus and if they had sustained any heart damage. She will also continue to see these puppies so their long-term cardiac health can be documented. Since Dr. Hitchcock was already scheduled to be on vacation at the time, the puppies were examined and tested by her resident, Dr. Rebecca Fields, DVM on June 23.The results were mixed. Chessie, a black and tan female, showed no signs of damage. Cubby (male, white with brown markings) had some damage and may or may not suffer ill-effects as he gets older. Chumley's heart, however, showed a great deal of heart damage and was given a very poor prognosis.
Again, none of these puppies showed any signs or symptoms of being sick. They had normal stools, good appetite, were active (other than Cuffy just an hour or so before he died), and had not been vomitting. Initial parvo tests both on Cuffy and Cozy (at the lab) from fecal samples taken rectally were negative. That is because the virus remained in the heart and never got to their intestines. The mother, by the way, never exhibited any signs of being sick, either. We don't know if she had parvo before she came to us and recovered, or if her own immune system was able to fight it off seemingly without affecting her. We also don't know if she passed it to her puppies while she was pregnant or immediately after whelping.All three puppies have been placed in loving homes. Chessie and Cubby were adopted together. Chumley went to a previous adopter in Pittsburgh, and was put on Enalapril by Dr. Hitchcock. He was also getting three heart-friendly amino acids, plus fish oil for the Omega-3s and Vitamin E.
Chumley passed, as expected from his diagnosis, in October 2014. Cubby's condidtion was deteriorating at that time.Rose's Rescue would like to acknowledge and thank all of the veterinarians who examined or provided input towards diagnosing, or provided expertise for our puppies in any way, and in particular Drs Jacobson and Hitchcock, who have gone above and beyond in order to help us: Dr. Heidi Knoblich, DVM, Stark County Veterinary Emergency ClinicDr. Tiffany Drach, DVM, Rootstown Veterinary HospitalDr. Dana Jacobson, DVM, Stow Kent Animal HospitalDr. Alice Roudabush, DVM, DACVP, Animal Disease Diagnostic LaboratoryDr. Karen Fox, DVM, PhD, DACVPDr. Rebecca Fields, DVM,residency trained in cardiology, now
with Med VetDr. Lori S. Hitchcock, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology), Ohio Veterinary Cardiology, Ltd. at Akron Metropolitan Veterinary HospitalWe will continue to update this page with any changes, additional test results, or other pertinent information that may become available. All lab reports can be viewed by clicking on the links below.Necropsy and Lab Report from ADDLInitial echocardiographic report for ChessieInitial echocardiographic report for Cubby Initial echocardiographic report for Chumley (Chumley had vomitting and diarrhea the day he went to the cardiologist. He later tested positive and was treated for coccidia - the symptoms he had during his cardio examination and that were mentioned in the report were unrelated to the Parvo.)