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McKay's Fight

McKay was born on Christmas Day, 2002. We purchased her right before she turned two months from a local pet store. We did not know that our new puppy had a potentially fatal disease called Parvo or Parvovirus. This website is to give you some information on the disease and tells our story. Thank you for visiting!

Feb. 24, 2003

My boyfriend, Mike, and I went to Shake a Paw on Rt. 22 in Green Brook, NJ on Saturday and wound up falling in love with a black lab puppy that was in the store. There were five puppies in the cage, all sisters and the only ones left from the original 10 that were brought in by a breeder. We met another couple and their daughter who bought one of the sisters, a yellow lab, and exchanged info, planning on getting together with the puppies in the future (Karen & Frank). Mike and I planned on going back to pick up the puppy, McKay, once we could buy some supplies and puppy-proof the house. I planned on picking her up on Friday, Feb. 28.

I returned to the store on Sunday (2/23) with my mother so that I could show her McKay. The cage was not in the front of the store any longer and when I asked about that, I was told that she was put in the back because everyone was asking to play with her and since she was sold, they didn't allow that. Then we were told that all playrooms were busy so we'd have to go into a little hallway-like area to play with McKay. She was acting very lethargic and so my Mom suggested that I get her out of the store and to a vet to make sure that she was okay. I asked a worker there, Laura, and she told me that one of her sister's just had kennel cough, the equivalent of a cold. I told the manager that I had decided to take McKay home with me and she gave a coworker a strange look. The worker then went to tell Laura that I was taking McKay and she too, had a weird look to the other girl. I had my Mom take the puppy out to the car while I finished the paperwork. While in the car, my Mom could see someone go into the room where we were playing and wipe it all down. I again asked why McKay had acted so strangely and was reassured that it was most likely kennel cough and that I should watch for vomiting and diarrhea, (which obviously NOW I know, kennel cough would not cause).

When I got home to my boyfriends, I got a call from my Mom. Karen had called her house (looked me up in the book) and left a message telling me that her puppy was diagnosed with parvovirus, a fatal disease. She had called the petstore at 11:00, an hour and a half BEFORE I went and got McKay. They knew that they were selling me a dog with a possibly fatal disease and did not tell me. Since Karen called, we knew that McKay probably had it as well and so we called the vet. We wound up going to the animal hospital after McKay came down with a slight fever and had diarrhea. She has now been in the hospital for four days and it's looking like it will be another week. The store will give up to two times the cost of the dog, which is helpful but will not cover the entire medial bill.

Mike went to see the owner yesterday, Feb. 25, and he told him that three of the puppies have parvo and they have two in the back of the store, "being isolated". I had been told that they were sold. The thing is, those dogs are not getting the around the clock medical treatment that they need to survive. Shakeapaw knowingly sold ill dogs and now they are letting two more puppies go without proper treatment. There are at least 40 puppies in that store that have now been exposed to parvovirus. Only half will live, if treated. Please help to make this story heard.

March 6, 2003

Well, it’s now been 10 days since we brought McKay into the hospital. So much has changed! I have put in calls to everyone that I thought would be able to help with the situation and have not had much luck. The two puppies in the store never got the medical attention that they needed and died. I got in touch with the Breeder and he claims that the puppies were healthy when he brought them in. I found out that some of the puppies that were bought soon after being in the store are all healthy which means that the rest got ill while in the store.

Karen’s puppy, Angel, also died last week. That makes at least three dead puppies that I know of so far. So sad.

McKay is doing so much better. On Sunday morning, I started to think that maybe McKay would not make it but then that night she started to eat for the first time since we got her! It was a full week! We were thrilled and since then, have seen remarkable improvement. The local animal hospital, where McKay is being taken care of, is fabulous. They have allowed us to visit with her daily, which I strongly feel has helped in her recovery. Mike and I have spent a total of at least three hours a day, holding and loving her. This has given her a reason to fight, to stay with us. I think that we have grounded her to the world that we live in. She is our miracle puppy!

We still have a ways to go but I am confident that McKay will be home with us soon. I hope that the information on this website will help other people from making some of the same mistakes that we made – namely, buying from a pet store. I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through the emotional ride that we have been experiencing!

Best of luck to you all!

March 12

McKay came contracted pneumonia last Thursday but was still able to come home with us for the night. We compaged her chest to loosen up the fluid in the lungs, spent time in the steam in the bathroom, trying to do the same. She slept on my chest that night because when those horrible coughs would take over her little body, she was scared and I wanted to be with her to comfort her. We spent the day on Friday just hanging around, she slept on my lap mostly. McKay ate a great deal and was doing pretty well. Saturday Mike and I left to visit his parents for the weekend. We had a really hard time deciding if we should still make the trip but since McKay was doing so well, figured that it would be the best move to make, to go and have a little break. McKay was doing well over the weekend but then on Monday, our vet called us to tell us that her temp had dropped to 92, the normal being 102. We changed our flight to come home early so that we could take her home and watch her around the clock. McKay's temp was normal a few hours later and she was still eating.

We got the call while we were at the airport. McKay had died during the night, peacefully in her sleep. We are just devestated that we have lost our little puppy, although happy that she will not have to fight any longer.

Thank you all for your kind emails and prayers. You have really helped Mike and me during a difficult time.


Web Links

McKay photo album (password is alramsey)
Guest Book - NEW!
American Kennel Club
Great Info. on Dogs - Informative Boards
Training Your Puppy
Make a Real Difference
Strudle, a Pet Store Puppy's, Story
Paula and Murphy's Story