Lancashire couple raises awareness for parvovirus vaccines after their puppy dies from disease

  • Jackpot was five months old when he passed away from parvovirus
  • There has been an outbreak of the virus in the North West, with over 60 cases since spring
  • The couple are campaigning for the third vaccination to be more widely available

A Lancashire couple are raising awareness for the third parvovirus vaccination after their five-month-old puppy died.

Gillian Roscow and her partner John were distraught when their puppy died from parvovirus last month.

The virus has been targeting puppies and adolescent dogs around the Manchester area, with more than 60 cases since spring.

The couple are raising awareness for a third vaccination that they believe could have saved Jackpot’s life.

Their pomsky puppy became ill with vomiting and diarrhoea on 1 October, but after numerous negative parvovirus tests, he was given an anti-sickness injection instead.

Gillian took him to the vets again on 6 October.

parvovirus, dogs, virus, vets, parvo, pomsky
Jackpot was only four months old, so his sickness was initially thought to be the puppy’s sensitive stomach

She said: “I just had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right.

“The vet came back out after 10 minutes and said I’m really sorry, but it’s positive. It’s positive for parvovirus.”

Jackpot’s condition worsened, with blood appearing in both his vomit and diarrhoea.

Gillian said: “As the owner of a gorgeous little puppy, this is absolutely devastating to hear, to know that you can’t see them or comfort them.”

The couple travelled across the country in search of additional medication recommended to treat parvovirus that was unavailable at their local vets.

They managed to source eight of the nine necessary vials, which were around £200 each.

parvovirus, dogs, virus, vets, parvo, pomsky
The most heartbreaking part for Gillian and John was being unable to comfort and visit their puppy in the vets due to the high risk of contamination

“We literally came home on Sunday night thinking we’d saved our dog’s life. We thought we’d done everything in our power,” said Gillian.

Unfortunately, their efforts weren’t enough as Jackpot died the same day from parvovirus.

“I just felt like my world had just fallen through the floor,” Gillian said.

“We wanted to save our dog’s life, and we were willing to do anything to save him, but we couldn’t.”

The couple are eager to raise awareness for parvovirus in hope that other owners don’t have to endure a similar fate.

“It has come to light after the event that certain vets are now offering and recommending a third vaccination for puppies at four months old.

“Given that Jackpot was five months old, I am 99.9% certain that if he’d received that third extra vaccine no one had told us about, I think he’d still be here.”

parvovirus, dogs, virus, vets, parvo, pomsky
Jackpot was adored by the couple, who hope that other owners can protect their dogs from a similar fate

Gillian and John want other owners to be aware of this additional vaccine, as well as the possibility of getting a titre test to check the immunity levels in the dog’s blood.

A statement issued by Manchester Street Veterinary Surgery explains: “Many people believe that if they have their pet vaccinated when they are puppies, the immunity they receive will protect them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

“After the last injection, the immune level reaches a peak and then begins to decline.”

Parvovirus is commonly spread through the faeces of infected dogs, although it can remain on surfaces for months.

The main symptoms of the virus are fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and dehydration.

Owners who suspect their dog may have parvovirus should take them to the vets immediately, as it cannot be treated at home.