Symptoms Of Canine Parvovirus And What You Can Do

Best to face one’s fears, right? I had a sit-down with myself and calmly reviewed what I knew about this disease.

  • It’s a virus. There are no known traditional medications that kill the virus. The antibiotics given by the vet are to prevent secondary infections only.
  • It’s hardy; can last a long time (months) in the environment waiting for a host.
  • It is usually more damaging to young puppies than older dogs.
  • It does not have to be a death sentence, which is emotionally how I and many people see it.
  • There is the type that affects the gastrointestinal system causing vomiting, usually bloody diarrhea, and lethargy (think how you would feel if you had a really bad case of the flu where you can barely pick your head up off the pillow)
  • There is a rare type that affects the cardiac system causing death usually in pups less than 8 weeks old and born with the disease that was transmitted while still in utero.
  • Pups can die within 72 hrs of symptoms appearing more from the dehydration and electrolyte imbalance than anything else.
  • The virus is shed in the stool starting earlier than any symptoms and several weeks after the illness has passed.
  • It is seen more in black and tan dogs of any breed (I can't find the rationale as to why)

Knock on wood; I have never had to deal with canine parvovirus. Hope I never have to. The thought of one of my young pups succumbing to something like that sends chills down my spine.

How do you know for sure that a pup has parvo? Test a fecal sample ASAP. 

Obviously, I can’t recommend anything from personal experience, but this is what I have on hand in the medicine cabinet… to be prepared just in case. Depending on your situation, you may want to follow suit.

But I urge you to bring your pup to your vet. Knowing that a pup may be dead from a disease within 72 hrs means if you can't fix it in a few hours, pack up and get driving.

Prepared For Canine Parvovirus

What's In The Medicine Cabinet

1.) A natural antidiarrheal and a clay that is supposed to be able to absorb toxins, Yerba Prima Bentonite can be part of the at-home regimen for the pup.

2.) This is a no brainer. Loss of fluids from diarrhea means electrolytes need to be replaced, ASAP. Pedialyte Oral Electrolyte Maintenance Powder mixed with chicken broth (has salt which retains fluids in the body) for added palatability.

3.) The homeopathic medication aconite (Aconitum Napellus, 30C Pellets). Aconite is for sudden, inflammatory conditions, which parvo certainly is. So I have a small bottle of that as well.

4.) Arnica Montana 30c is also used for sudden traumas, bleeding, bruising.

5.) But just in case that doesn't do the trick, I decided on this Colloidal Silver Plus (oral drops) because it has olive leaf and oregano extract in it as well. BOTH of which are great viral killers.

I know from experience as an RN that we use silver in wounds to kill infection. So it probably does work, but I have not had to use it for anything yet.

In addition, in order to prevent the canine parvovirus from ever taking hold, my puppies get the home made dog food supplements that the adults get here which includes my all time favorite herb, olive leaf powder as well as ginger which can relieve nausea/vomiting. I know from personal experience that olive leaf is a great antiviral and antibiotic herb.

Do I plan to use all this stuff at the same time? No, I think that would be over doing it and may cause more problems in a young pup.

So What's The Plan, Stan?

My plan would be to:

Maintain hydration. As long as the puppy is willing to eat or drink and can keep fluids down,

1.) A few drops of aconite a few times per hour.

2.) warm ginger tea sweetened with a little real sugar, alternating with pedialyte with chicken broth, and also with an olive leaf powder, bentonite clay and pureed baby food meat mix. All in very small amounts every few minutes.

3.) If that doesn't slow things down in a few hours or so, I would administer a few drops of silver followed by a few drops of arnica, again a few times per hour.

If the puppy can’t keep anything down, I would move to enemas with pedialyte and colloidal silver administered via syringe.

It sounds like a lot to have in the medicine cabinet, but if canine parvovirus hits in the middle of the night, that is not the time to start ordering supplies.

Would you prefer to go a more traditional veterinary route but keep your pup at home? Colorado State University has just come out with an alternative treatment protocol for canine parvovirus that they will share with your vet.

I have also decided to hedge my bets by changing the timing of the parvo vaccination. Maybe someday, I will forgo the vaccination altogether, but I am slow to let go of some things.

Now, obviously, there may come a point sooner rather than later, that I will pack up the pups and run to the vet's for assistance. But if it can be handled at home, I'd prefer that. Time will tell.

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