Family left with £11k vet bill after puppy died of parvovirus

Family left with £11k vet bill after puppy died of parvovirus

07/02/2021

Family are left with £11,000 vet bill after nine-week old puppy they bought on Gumtree came with fake vaccination documents and died of parvovirus two weeks later

  • Jane Broomfield, 47, bought nine-week-old puppy Nola for £550 in June 2021
  • Breeder claimed the Jack Russell cross beagle had vaccination documents, a microchip and had received flea & worm treatments 
  • When took puppy home she was sleepy and suffering with bloody diarrhoea
  • Took to the vet and given more than £10,000 worth of treatment from medics
  • Despite their efforts the dog died two weeks ago from parvovirus 

A family has been left with a £11,000 vet bill after their nine-week old puppy they bought on Gumtree came with fake vaccination documents and died of parvovirus two weeks later.

Jane Broomfield, 47, spotted an ad online for dog Nola and snapped the pup up, paying £550.

She said she felt reassured the pet was well cared for because the sellers said it came with vaccination documentation, a microchip and had been given flea and worm treatments.

Jane Broomfield, 47, spotted an ad online for dog Nola and snapped the pup up, paying £550 but later discovered she had not vaccination, worm or flea treatment and died two weeks later

The mother-of-two became suspicious when the seller gave her a house number that didn’t exist and met her in the street with the dog.

But the family including daughter Beau 16, and son Cayden, 13, fell in love with the dog – said to be nine weeks old.

Just three days later, Nola, who was sleepy and suffering with bloody diarrhoea, was taken to the out-of-hours vet, where the pooch was diagnosed with parvovirus.

The potentially deadly virus is usually prevented by a vaccination and Jane’s vet confirmed the pup had worms, no chip, and the documents were likely fake.

Jane felt reassured the pet was well cared for because the sellers said it came with vaccination documentation, a microchip and had been given flea and worm treatments

The mother-of-two (pictured) became suspicious when the seller gave her a house number that didn’t exist and met her in the street with the dog

After a week of expensive procedures – totalling more than £10,000 – the pet died last Saturday.

Devastated by the ordeal, Jane, a mobile hairdresser from Bagshot, Surrey, is speaking out to warn others of the dangers of buying pets online.

She said the seller, also called Jane, blocked her number when she told them how much the treatment cost.

Jane, who also has a nine-year-old pooch called Buster, said: ‘It’s been absolutely horrendous for me and the kids. I cried for about a week. 

Three days after coming home with the family, Nola, was sleepy and suffering with bloody diarrhoea and they took her to the out-of-hours vet, where the pooch was diagnosed with parvovirus

The potentially deadly virus is usually prevented by a vaccination and Jane’s vet confirmed the pup had worms, no chip, and the documents were likely fake

‘I just want this sort of thing to stop and I want to get the word out to other people, because I don’t want other families to go through this.

‘We’ve all been so tearful and angry; very very angry. It’s very confusing and hard for Buster. He won’t leave my side at the minute.’

The family spotted Nola’s online ad, which stated the pet was a Jack Russell cross beagle, on June 6 and picked her up a week later.

‘She was quite chirpy but she must have had the virus in her system when she arrived with us,’ Jane said.

Jane said one of the breeders offered her cash when she told him Nola was sick but she claims they blocked her number when she told them how much the treatment cost

The family spotted Nola’s online ad, which stated the pet was a Jack Russell cross beagle, on June 6 and picked her up a week later

‘It is covered in the vaccinations so if they had done them she would have been ok.’

Showing signs of illness, the family woke up every 15 minutes to check on Nola through the night.

WHAT IS PARVOVIRUS?

Parvovirus is an infectious disease that can be fatal. Many dogs who are diagnosed with parvovirus will die.

The virus attacks cells in a dog’s intestines and stops them from being able to absorb vital nutrients. This means that a dog or puppy will become very weak and dehydrated. 

Symptoms of parvovirus include foul-smelling diarrhoea with blood in it, vomiting, loss of appetite, collapse, depression, fever and sudden death. 

Puppies go downhill very quickly as the symptoms make them weak, meaning their immune systems have to work hard to fight the disease. 

Puppies between six weeks and six months old are more susceptible to secondary infections, or can die from dehydration. 

The highly contagious canine disease spreads through body fluids, including in a dog’s faeces and vomit. It can survive outside the body, for example in grass, for at least six months.

Dogs and puppies can be vaccinated against parvovirus from the age of six weeks.

Source: Blue Cross

They took the pet to the vet on June 16, and the next day discovered Nola likely had no vaccinations, wasn’t the breed advertised, and was likely much younger.

They began treatment for parvovirus – a highly infectious disease which attacks cells in a dog’s intestines and stops them from being able to absorb vital nutrients.

Nola was given pellets to help her gut, blood transfusions from dogs, plus a human-blood transfusion, to try and raise her protein levels.

The team also gave her fluids, antibiotics anti-sickness meds and pain relief.

Jane said one of the breeders offered her cash when she told him Nola was sick but she claims they blocked her number when she told them how much the treatment cost.

Nola went to an intensive care vet team on June 19, and died a week later.

Jane has had to take on extra work cleaning to find money to pay the vet bills.

‘I don’t know where I’m going to find that money,’ she said.

‘Just the critical care team is about £10,000, then my vet and the out of hours takes it to around £11k, and I’ve got to pay for her cremation.

‘I went with those breeders because I don’t have much money and it’s hard to find those dogs under £1,000.

‘Now I think about it all the pictures of dogs were outside on grass and no sign of people.

‘There was a picture of a beagle that was supposed to be Nola’s mother, but the vet said she didn’t have any beagle in her.

‘If you’re buying a dog be very vigilant and demand to see the parent dogs and where they live.

‘They get you because they know you will fall in love when you see the dog.’

A friend started a fundraiser to help pay for the treatment.

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