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Puppy hospitalized 5 days after purchase from Colorado store with history of problems

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- A local woman suspects she purchased a sick puppy from Puppies 'N' Stuff in Westminster after it was diagnosed with a highly contagious virus called parvo five days after purchase.

"We weren't sure he was going to survive," Samantha Crawford said.

Crawford purchased her Pekingese puppy, Ox, from the pet store Aug. 17. She said he was in a pen with other dogs, and she noticed symptoms shortly after purchasing him.

"He threw up on the way home," Crawford said.

When symptoms continued, she took him to Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists, which specializes in emergency care, on Aug. 22.

According to vet records, Ox tested positive for parvo. Records state that it's "likely that this puppy picked up the virus from the puppy store," noting that it "takes 5-7 days from infection with the virus to development of clinical signs."

"It's been really disheartening," Crawford said.

Crawford said recommended in-patient treatment was estimated to cost several thousand dollars, so she turned to a clinic listed in the contract she signed with Puppies 'N' Stuff and was offered out-patient treatment. The pet store guarantees against parvo for 10 days.

"I think he would have died," Crawford said.

Her family was able to get Ox into a low-cost clinic, which recommended in-patient care, called Planned Pethood Plus.

"With in-patient care, they're much more likely to make it back home," Dr. Jeff Baier said.

Puppies 'N' Stuff owner Sandy McDonald refunded Crawford for the cost of the puppy and told KDVR this was an "isolated incident" - and that the store is disinfected daily.

McDonald said the store now works with a veterinarian that provides overnight care and that she did not know Crawford was unhappy with treatment options. She claimed she would have helped find a solution.

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