Year-End Highlight of the Parvo Pup Program: 224 pups treated

by Hilary Bentley • Posted in: Awareness/ PR, Fundraising, Special Needs Pets


Mandy came to APA! from TLAC with parvo in March. After spending a week with Ellen, I took her in as my first foster.

Mandy was skinny, had little energy and an even littler appetite. Recovery was slow (she showed signs of distemper a week after I brought her home to foster) and we made frequent visits to the vet trailer that month, but watching her blossom into a playful pup was worth it.

After spending so much time together, I couldn’t part with the sweetest pup I had ever met and decided to adopt Mandy. She seemed to look at me with thankful eyes and still has an excitement for anyone and anything that wants to show her love and attention.

Almost every time I look at her I think about how APA! changed her fate. Had she stayed at TLAC she would have been put down immediately. I think about how lucky I am that APA! and Ellen saved her life. The thought stops me in my tracks and then I give her a big hug! Though I wasn’t really looking to adopt at the time, I can’t imagine my life without Mandy now.

Mandy is one of the many parvo pups APA! helped over the past year. In 2010 we treated 224 dogs for parvo. Of those, 198 survived treatment, for a total survival rate of 88%.

This is really amazing – when you look up typical survival rates for parvo in the veterinary world. Specialists say that if you can treat the disease early on in process (which often times they come to us after having the disease for a while) and if treated in a hospital setting with the best drugs and equipment (which we only wish we had), you can expect a 70-85% survival rate. So it is pretty astonishing that Dr. Ellen Jefferson managed to have an 88% success rate, even in the face of a horrible distemper outbreak right in the middle of parvo season! Ellen deserves showers of hugs and applause.

We believe that every animal should be given a second chance and parvo puppies are no exception. We take parvo positive dogs from TLAC and with one week of intensive treatment, we have a high survival rate for these highly adoptable puppies to lead normal, healthy lives.

Currently, we are looking for a sponsor for the parvo ward that is currently being constructed in our new building. If you’re interested in contributing to or sponsoring the Parvo Pup room, click here to see more info about our available sponsorships: or e-mail email hidden; JavaScript is required


6 Responses to "Year-End Highlight of the Parvo Pup Program: 224 pups treated"

  1. Marysays: December 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Wow. This is inspiring.

  2. Caponesays: December 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    This is truly amazing. Dr. Jefferson and APA! are to be commended for saving these puppies and dogs that many clinics and shelters still consider “un-savable”. Way to keep proving everyone wrong, APA! Great job!!
    Thank you for saving so many lives and bringing so much joy to the sheltered animals of Austin, and their humans!

  3. Joni Solissays: January 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    So what are you all doing different from others to achieve your higher than normal success rate with puppies with parvo? I came from an article about no kill that had a link to this article…

    “What No Kill means: Innovative and cost-effective parvovirus treatments that save 90% or more of puppies diagnosed with or exposed to the virus in shelters. The alternative: Killing all puppies exposed to parvovirus.”

    So what are the innovative and cost-effective parovirus treatments? Thanks for any help on this.

  4. austinpetsalivesays: January 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Joni,
    I think the “innovative” adjective was used to describe the program because we built a parvo-treatment room with special access (like what is used for clean rooms) because parvo is so contagious. Authorized medical team members change out of their regular clothes and into special clothes/shoes that are only used in that room. In the video, you can see the washer/dryer we have in that area so that all clothing and bedding stays in that room.

    According to Dr. Jefferson, she’s not doing anything earth-shattering to treat them: “It includes tamiflu, baytril, ampicillin, fluids, and tlc.” This costs us approximately $150 to treat each puppy, way cheaper than the treatment would cost at a private vet.

  5. Chelseasays: February 21, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Hi APA!,
    Congrats on your success with treating parvo pups. I was curious, with this treatment plan, do you do IV fluids with the pups?

    Thanks so much for giving second chances to the dogs.

  6. austinpetsalivesays: February 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Hi Chelsea!
    Here’s what Dr. Jefferson said:

    In general about 1/3 of the puppies we get in need iv catheters and iv fluids. The rest do well with subcutaneous treatment only. It really depends on how sick they are and how long they have gone without treatment before reaching us.