In March, Oprah introduced us to Sadie, the adorable newest member of her family. The blond cocker spaniel stole Oprah's heart when they met at PAWS Chicago, a no-kill shelter, for an O magazine photo shoot. Oprah just couldn't leave without her!
On that same show, Oprah brought out Sadie's brothers, Ivan, Gordie and Webster, and subsequently adopted Ivan too. "I took the dogs to California for the weekend and Ivan had one really great day playing with the big dogs and Sadie, and then the next day he got sick," Oprah says. "It turns out he had parvo."
Parvo is a virus that any dog can get, either from another dog or the environment. Dr. Alexis Newman, a veterinarian at the Arboretum View Animal Hospital in Illinois where Sadie is being treated, says it's especially common in climates like Chicago. "In areas like ours where the snow melts, it's in the ground and [dogs] can be safe all winter and then the snow is gone and he could have picked it up anywhere."
After Ivan caught the virus, Sadie got sick as well. "I'm sad to say Ivan passed away last Thursday," Oprah says. "And little Sadie went in the hospital, started showing signs and has been in the hospital for eight days, hanging in there. She was very, very sick."
In the week Sadie's been in the hospital, Dr. Newman says she has lost half a pound, when a puppy normally might gain a pound in a week. Though there is no specific treatment for parvovirus, Dr. Newman says there is help for the symptoms. "Like when we get a flu, there isn't a medication, so we are treating the secondary problems. Basically what happens is very severe intestinal signs—vomiting and diarrhea—and that leads to pretty severe dehydration. So the most important aspect of treatment is rehydrating her with fluids," she says.
After a rough eight days, Dr. Newman says Sadie has turned a corner. "She's finally started feeling like eating," Dr. Newman says. "When they're recovering from parvo, usually once they start feeling better and eating better, then they start on the road to recovery. She's taken a couple of days to get there, but she's probably 80 percent back to being a puppy. ... She is probably within a couple of days of coming home."
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