Parvo is a disease that needs not to be under estimated, it is highly contagious and very deadly. This article is for those that have already tried treatment at the vet’s office or that couldn’t afford all the costs of inserting an IV line along with hospitalization. Please be advised that home treatments may have poor results when compared to hospitalization and fluid replacement. Please be also aware that there are many other conditions that may resemble Parvo, so it is best if your puppy gets a Parvo test by the vet as soon as symptoms arise. A Parvo test is a quick fecal test that can be performed at most vet’s offices.
We must first recognize that the real cause of death in puppies is not the Parvo virus itself but the dehydration that follows the copious vomiting and diarrhea that takes place. The puppy may not be able to hold down any water, thus, his chances of staying hydrated become very slim. In such severe cases, fluids need to be administrated subcutaneously or through an IV at a vet’s office.
However, before arriving at ths dramatic point you can try to help the pup hydrate by offering a bowl of half water and half Gatorade or a dropper of unflavored Pedialyte to help replace the pup’s lost electrolytes.
Hydration levels can be checked by trying to lift the skin above the shoulder blades or back in a tent. If the skin snaps back into place the hydration levels are fine. If it takes a while or remains lifted then the pup will need to be hydrated ASAP. Pedialyte and Gatorade may help to a certain extent but if the pup is unable to keep liquids down the only solution is subQ or IV fluids by the vet.
If the puppy seems able to keep some food down without vomiting, substitute the dry food with canned food. Water it down and offer it. If he/she refuses you can try to fill a dropper with the liquid mix and dropper feed. However, the sad thing about Parvo is that puppies suffer from terrible nausea and most will refuse to eat or drink. This further brings energy levels down and puts a higher burden on the already sick puppy. Try to rub the pup’s gums with some pancake or Karo syrup to bring back his glucose levels and hopefully some energy.
Burst of Energy
Try to rub you pup’s gums with some maple or Karo syrup to raise his sugar level and energy. This should help a bit if your pup is refusing food. Pet store bought Nutrical can be a good supplement for sick puppies.
A dog’s gums are a good sign in helping distinguish a stable dog from one in critical condition. Pink, rosy gums are a good sign while white, grayish or dark red gums are signs the pup’s life is in danger and needs a vet ASAP. Other signs to watch for are gums that if pressed upon with a finger (capillary refill time) do not turn to their normal color within seconds. This again needs vet’s attention ASAP.
There are a few homeopathic remedies online that show some good rates of success. The websites are full of success stories but it is really hard to tell if they really work. However, it is always worth a try. Some products may be found in large retail stores.
Restrain the Disease
If your pup should make it or not, please be considerate and try your best to prevent other puppies in your surrounding areas from being infected. Parvo can survive several years in dog’s waste and other areas . It can easily be transported to other areas and spread by your shoes, clothes etc. Please try your best to clean all areas and disinfect with special products. Ask your vet or a boarding kennel for special products to clean up infected areas.
It is hard to tell if the puppy will make it or not, however, these remedies can be used as a last resort knowing that all that can have been done was at least tried.
*Disclaimer: All remedies suggested are not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your pet is sick please refer to your veterinarian for a hands on examination. If your pet is exhibiting behavior problems please refer to a professional pet behaviorist.