Featured Patient: Bella Pua
Bella Pua (beautiful flower) is a female Maltese mix who came to us at 12 weeks old for a puppy check-up and because she was not eating. Bella came from the breeder very sick and was only 1.5 pounds. The owners thought she might have worms because of how big and hard her stomach was. She also had scabs all over her belly and was lethargic. Bella had blood work done, was given a dewormer, and went home. Bella came in the next day for additional blood work and because she was very weak. Bella tested negative for Parvo and was sent home with instructions to be fed every two hours. Bella’s owners opted for outpatient procedures so she would not have to be transferred to an emergency hospital and could be cared for at home. The next day showed no improvement. Bella was extremely lethargic and would not eat. Dr. Thomas admitted her to our hospital and placed an IO catheter (into the bone of the left femur) for a blood transfusion. Carly Sheriff was our doggy blood donor (see our blood donor page for more info on how your dog can help others). Bella spent all day in the hospital receiving blood and being fed small amounts every 2 hours. A fecal test was ordered and came back positive for giardia (a gastrointestinal parasite), which was treated with medication. Bella was sent home at the end of the day and returned in the morning for a recheck. The owners reported that Bella was improving and eating on her own again. Bella continued to improve over the next several weeks. At the end of June she was able to start her puppy vaccines.
Bella Pua now weighs in at a healthy 7 pounds. She is doing great and growing up strong. Even after all her appointments and treatments she still enjoys coming to AVC and seeing the doctors and staff.
While the majority of puppies are healthy, stories like Bella’s are not that uncommon. If you find a puppy (or any animal) that you would like to add to the family, consider bringing them in for an exam before you commit to purchasing or adopting. An early exam could save you money and, more importantly, heartache. While some agencies, like shelters, provide a physical exam prior to rehoming, many do not. Ask the current owner if an exam was performed and, if so, if you could have a copy of the exam. If an exam was not done, tell the seller that you are very interested in the animal, but that you would like to have an exam done prior to finalizing the deal. Do not let the cuteness of a puppy or kitten cloud your judgement.
While most animals do not have the issues that Bella did, we want owners to know that the doctors and staff at AVC are committed to providing the best and most comprehensive care available to all our patients.