Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Magic parvo shot

I had a discussion with a breeder yesterday. This client of mine had a puppy she'd just obtained from this breeder. The breeder had told my client that although the puppy had previously been diagnosed with parvovirus 10 days before leaving the breeder's premises, she had been successfully treated by way of a long-acting antibiotic shot called Convenia, after which injection the puppy's diarrhea and vomiting had immediately stopped. The puppy had not required any fluid therapy, special food, or other medications.

Now, I'm no virologist - but I'm pretty sure that a repository cephalosporin isn't some kind of magic cure for canine parvovirus infection. So, I said to my client, as I looked at an apparently perfectly healthy 10-week-old Rockwelder Rottweiler puppy, "I don't think that this puppy had parvovirus. Maybe you misunderstood the breeder?" and the client said "definitely not. She said they did a special test to prove it was parvovirus, and that parvovirus can kill dogs, especially Rockwelders, so we got lucky with this one."

This, I had to hear for myself. So, I called up the breeder.

<ring, ring>
Breeder: yo, hold up a second, hold up. [pause]. OK yo, wassup?
Me: Hi, is this World's Best Rottweilers of Outer Dumbassia?
Breeder: yo, that's us, you wanna puppy, man?
Me: No thank you. My name is Dr. VBB, and I'm calling about the male puppy you sold to Mr. Gull Ibble on February 4th.
Breeder: which puppy is that?
Me: Well, the paperwork you gave him says "male puppy #4 parvo" on it. Does that mean anything to you?
Breeder: oh, yeah, man, that the puppy that had the parvo, man.
Me: so, about that - did this puppy see a veterinarian at any point?
Breeder: oh, yeah - I got one who comes by and writes the certificates. You got his certificate there, right?
Me: well, I have a "puppy passport" that lists all the vaccines and dewormings you gave.
Breeder: yeah, that's it! see the stamp there? That's the vet stamp.
Me: You mean the stamp in the corner that says "PASSED INSPECTION" ??
Breeder: yeah! that the one!
Me: So, nothing with the doctor's name or contact information?
Breeder: no, he don't work like that, you know. It's kind of on the down low.
Me: the down low?
Breeder: yeah. Cause his boss prolly don't want him working side jobs.
Me: Oh. I see. So, who gave this puppy the Convenia?
Breeder: Oh, I got that at the house. I gave that myself. I buy it off ebay, yo.
Me: I see. OK, well, I think I have all the information I need. I really want to recommend to you that you hire a veterinarian in the future to oversee your operation, because I think you are either working with someone who isn't a vet at all, or something else is going on here, because you seem to have a lot of misinformation.
Breeder: naw, it's all good, man. I got this down. Been doing this two years now. Only lost five puppies, man!
Me: OK, well, thanks anyway. Bye.

When I encounter this type of situation, I find myself wondering - why is there no way to stop this type of situation from happening? Why isn't there some phone number I can call to report these people? But let's face it - his operation is too small for USDA oversight. There probably isn't any actual actionable cruelty here. Is there some type of fraud going on? Sure, but I don't have the name of the alleged veterinarian. I don't even know if there is one. Maybe the breeder is pretending a vet came in. I have no idea why this guy would want to say one of his puppies had parvo if it didn't. The whole situation is just basically completely beyond my understanding. I just wish I could shut this type of place down.

The good part of it is the puppy I saw was adorable and apparently healthy, though somewhat wormy. He'll probably end up being a perfectly fine pet for his affable, if moderately ignorant, owner. Hopefully after coming through our office a few times for all the puppy visits, the owner won't be ignorant any more, either.

I went home after work and opened a nice bottle of red wine. I had a couple of pieces of Trader Joe's 100 calorie chocolate bars, and tried to fuggedaboutit. Obviously I failed in that!


  1. You're right. Legally speaking, what constitutes animal cruelty in most places doesn't include things like crappy (or no) vet care, crappy or insufficient food, being isolated for days at a time, being kept outside in all types of weather, and stuff like that. It's because pets are property - like a bicycle or a loaf of bread. There's no accountability for the chronic misery these uncaring and/or ignorant assholes subject their pets to. It's a rare situation indeed when I can just take someone's animal away from them and get away with it.

  2. Ugh, back yard breeders and fake vets. I am guessing this clandestine "vet" is actually a veterinary assistant that is stealing parvo tests and convenia from his boss. I too wish the USDA would get involved. After hearing horror stories of breeders stealing health certificates and forging veterinarian signatures, I am loath even touch an HC for a breeder that I don't know.

  3. I also have a magic parvovirus treatment, after adminstration of which the puppy's vomiting and diarrhea stop immediately and the puppy doesn't require any further treatment. I prefer not use it, though, as euthanasia isn't usually indicated.

  4. Isn't Convenia prescription only? If yes, and the breeder did give it to the dog himself (as he told you he did) then he's practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Which is a way bigger deal legally speaking than animal cruelty. I'd report for that. They might not do anything this time but it's worth a shot. And maybe next time they will.

    1. I think it's legal to "practice veterinary medicine" on your own pet. "Practicing veterinary medicine" requires that you are holding yourself out to the PUBLIC as a veterinarian and charging a fee for your services. It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

      If the Convenia is owned by him and was obtained without a valid Veterinarian-Patient-Client relationship, then the person who sold it to him violated pharmacy law - but we don't know who that might have been.

    2. Well that's disappointing. I wonder if you could get around it because he sold the puppy after "practicing veterinary medicine" and then advised the puppy's new owner. I don't know, even if it's illegal I doubt they would really pursue it. It's pretty diluted. Argh, breeders, especially those of the backyard variety.

    3. not getting anywhere with this. Convenia's not controlled so no one will care and unless a person does something cruel to their own pet, there's no recourse and giving an antibiotic injection (even if it WAS stupid and did nothing to treat or prevent parvo virus infection) is not ever going to be considered animal cruelty.
      Just grin and bare it

    4. I find this discussion interesting as my vet did give a litter of shelter puppies with parvo convenia. Yes they were snap tested. Yes she is a "real" vet.

  5. I appreciate that you tried to educate the "breeder." And I think it's always the good mark of a doctor when you care about that and it sticks with you a little, but of course there's nothing that can be done byond what you did. At least the pup didn't have "the parvo." Hope the owner brings him in for regular care so he can have a happy life!

  6. I am very happy that in germany the laws are much stronger.

    If you sell a puppy with fake papers or a vet not writing down his whole adress for identification..busted..

    Sell a puppy without all the vaccine or it gets ill and your vet says it is because of something the breeder has done or not done..busted

    Breed dogs without a license to make money? Busted
    Have to many breeding dogs, not proper kennels, not proper hygiene, shots not done, animals ill..busted.

    You also can´t simply buy medication over the counter or the internet. For most stuff you need to visit a vet and need a prescription.

    Flea treatment and deworming is over the counter but antibiotics,other medication, heart worm treatment you need to see a vet and you will not get the medication without prescribtion.

    Still there are vets who work shady and breeders who are shady, but thank god for our laws and pray that they will not be watered down.

    Also puppy mills are illegal and puppies were not sold in the pet shops but unfortunately a big american like pet shop line thwarted that and is selling puppies now where people can choose a pup and take home the same day.

    I hope that doesn´t bring american standards with it..really. I don´t want kill shelters here.

  7. When your dog comes in from the rain or outdoors, wipe him down with lavender essential oils or other aromatherapy oils, that will make him smell good!

  8. So I know I'm a little late to this conversation but,

  9. Brothers and sisters, I want to quickly tell all here how my dog was cured of his Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency. Rhod Minster is my name, and I live in USA. My dog was diagnosed of Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency months ago, and my dog begins go slimmer by the day. His doctor said this disease have no cure, my dog is going to die. So I was already crying waiting for that faithful day my dog will finally die. But after some time, my friend came visiting and saw how slim my dog was so she asked what was wrong with my dog, and I told her but she said to me that a doctor who is a specialist in dogs uses herbal process to cure her own dog of lyme disease , and also another was cured of parvovirus and that since then her dog was cured, her dog have been doing very fine. So she gave me the contact details of her dog, and I contacted the said doctor his name is Doctor Uwadia Amenifo. I explained to him what my dog is passing through and promised to help me save my dog, so we made necessary arrangements and he prepared the herbal medicine, and sent it to me in USA. So I was giving the medicine to my dog just as he directed and behold my dog so responded positively to his medicine, and today my dog is totally cured of his long suffered Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency. So I decide to come here and tell all whose dog has a one deadly disease or the other to quickly contact Doctor Uwadia Amenifo. His email is (, phone number (+2349052015874).