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Save a Puppy from Parvo on National Pet Day

On this special day, we all celebrate the companionship, health benefits and daily joy that pets give us. Yet for all the benefits that they bring, not all pets are protected from harm and remain unvaccinated against Parvovirus.

Dr Mark Kelman, co-founder and CEO of national pet charity Paws for A Purpose says on this day alone – and in fact, every day – around 55 puppies across Australia will also be diagnosed with Parvovirus – a fatal disease that will kill most puppies.
“Over a year, it is estimated that 10,000 puppies die from Parvo,” says Dr Kelman.
It is the puppies of disadvantaged owners who are more likely to be affected by Parvo because vulnerable and disadvantaged people on low incomes, and those in regional and rural areas, are less likely to be able to vaccinate their pets, often due the cost.

“So on this National Pet Day we’re calling for donations to help to save a puppy, by investing in vaccination clinics for rural and disadvantaged regions where Parvovirus is known to be active, as reported to our parvo detection website

“We need your help. Please join our community and support our cause of fighting against Parvo to save puppies lives and stop the heartache of families.”

Donations can be made at

Case Study: Domino’s close call with Parvo

This is the story of Gerry and Michael, who almost lost their beloved puppy – Domino. It was a terrible feeling they don’t want any pet owner to go through.

Last year, they decided to get another Dalmatian for the family and to be a companion for their other Dalmatian– Chaplin. The two puppies have brought great joy and companionship to their family.

But in November 2021, Gerry noticed that Domino wasn’t herself. She wasn’t eating and looked lethargic. Gerry and Michael took her to the vet twice. But both vets didn’t test for Parvo at the time and Domino continued to experience symptoms.

After the second vet visit, they were told she had gastro or pancreatitis. They monitored her throughout the night but couldn’t see any signs of improvement and Domino was restless. Around 3:30am, she came into the bedroom and woke up Gerry, who smelt something strange (like a chemical smell). They looked around the house and found blood in the hallway. Domino had haemorrhaged. They were so worried, Michael immediately drove Domino to the emergency vet, while Gerry stayed at home with Chaplin.

The emergency vet hospital admitted Domino straight away to carry out tests and before Michael had left the carpark to come home, they diagnosed Domino with Parvo. Michael and Gerry were shocked as she was up to date with her vaccinations. They knew that for puppies around Domino’s age, the chance of survival was small.

Domino was kept at the emergency vet hospital for eight days. It felt much longer than eight days for the family. They couldn’t do anything other than anxiously wait for the daily updates from the hospital, two to three times a day. “We didn’t get much sleep, the house was very quiet without her. It was a stressful time,” Gerry said, “We knew she was a strong girl, we just hoped that she was strong enough to pull through”.

The situation got dire on Day 5, when Michael received two phone calls telling him that Domino’s situation had deteriorated. At one point, he thought that this could be the day for them to lose Domino. Luckily that phone call didn’t come. Domino’s situation slowly started to improve. But on Day 7, they anticipated Domino was going to be discharged and they could finally bring her home, but the hospital told them they were going to hold her for another night as her red blood cell count had not increased enough. That was another stressful night for the family. Luckily, Domino was a strong girl and her situation stabilised. 

Although the two vaccination shots she previously received did not stop her from catching parvo, they had significantly increased her chance of survival. She was discharged from hospital the next day and was reunited with her family.

The full recovery of Domino made Gerry and Michael’s family complete again, yet there are still so many heartaches with dozens of puppies being unvaccinated and not surviving Parvovirus every day.

MEDIA RELEASE, 11th April 2022

Related Topics:

Expanding parvo vaccination program saves puppies' lives

Paws For a Purpose launches

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