A WOMAN whose little puppy caught a highly dangerous virus in a dog home, it was her “touch and go” to see if she would survive.
Nilly-Mae Sims said her Cavachon puppy Wilma contracted the highly contagious parvovirus earlier this month at the Woodside Animal Center in Leicester.
Wilma, the Cavachon puppy, contracted the highly dangerous parvovirus earlier this monthCredit: BPM
Wilma contracted the virus at Woodside Animal CenterCredit: BPM
Wilma was one of several dogs at the shelter who contracted the virus that affects the intestines and was in intensive care for several days.
Nilly-Mae said she “got sick with worry” that Wilma would not make it.
She told LeicestershireLive: “It became my main focus. I couldn’t concentrate on my work and Wilma was all I could think of.
“Some days she was fine and getting better and the next, she was bad. It was a real roller coaster ride.”
The pet owner didn’t even know what the parvovirus was until Wilma became unwell a few days after bringing her home.
Little Cavachon didn’t eat or drink for about 12 hours and showed signs of exhaustion and refused to play, which annoyed Nilly-Mae.
She said, “We thought she might be a little upset as she was a new dog in a new setting and was a little overwhelmed with everything.”
That changed when Nilly-Mae saw a post on Facebook.
She said, “I am in a group with other Cavachon puppy mothers and I saw their pup had parvovirus.
“Your puppy had the same symptoms as Wilma and then I started to worry. Without this contribution, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Symptoms of parvovirus can vary widely from dog to dog, and not every K9 is promised to catch it.
Nilly-Mae’s other dog, a gold scribble named Winnie, stayed relatively unharmed despite a brief day of sickness.
But for Wilma, the virus devastated her body and was put in intensive care around the clock.
Nilly-Mae said, “I’ve seen things no dog-lover should ever see. Wilma was hooked up to so many tubes and devices that it was horrible to see them like that.”
She has been told several times by veterinarians to fear the worst.
“Until you’re in this situation it’s hard to explain, but getting good news about her health in the morning followed by a warning that she will be leaving just hours later really struck us,” she said.
“Those calls came at 1am and I didn’t know what to make of them. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. “
Fortunately, Wilma recovered after 10 days of treatment and was eventually brought back home where she continues to take medication.
The 29-year-old dog owner has vowed to raise awareness of the parvovirus and to give something back to the Woodside Animal Center, where Wilma is from.
She said, “It was just a terrible thing that no one at Woodside could stop. They were brilliant all along, calling and checking me and Wilma every day.
“You did everything to help.”
In addition to paying Wilma’s vet bills, the Woodside team covered other families whose pet was affected – something Nilly-Mae called a “lifeline”.
She said, “It’s not just Wilma who saved them, but me too. With the bills rising, we might not have a home to bring them back to, it was that serious.
“I can’t thank you enough.”
Nilly-Mae raises money for the shelter to help them continue their services to the rescued animals.
She said, “This is not just money for now, this is money for the future so that every animal can get the support and help they need. After the help you have shown, it’s the least I can do . “
The Woodside Animal Center was asked for a comment.
Nilly-Mae Sims with Wilma and her other dog, a gold doodle named WinnieCredit: BPM