How To Help a Dog With Parvo
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I am not a veterinarian, but I have been through this heartbreak four times now. Watching your animal become sick is heartbreaking, especially when many vets give a dog with Parvo little to no chance of survival. I frantically searched the Internet for answers, only to find people trying to sell me things that would never make it in time to save my dog. So, I would like to share my experiences with you, hopefully help you and your dog to recovery.
At the first sign of these symptoms, I would recommend taking your dog to the vet to get diagnosed. You do not want to treat your animal for something that he does not have.
- Our dog was playful all day and in just a few short hours was hiding under the couch. He wouldn't come out for anything. Another one of our dogs hid under the porch. I found out that dogs seem embarrassed when they are sick, hence the hiding. This is usually the first sign of Parvo.
- Won't eat or drink anything.
- Bloody stool. With time stool will become more bloody, water like, and uncontrollable.
- Shaky, can't stand on their own.
If you have more than one dog immediately separate the others. You must put them in a place the sick dog has not been in before. We put our dog in the garage.
What to Expect From Your Vet
I would highly recommend getting your dog tested for Parvo before treating him for it. I would also recommend getting this test at the FIRST sign of lethargy. The faster you get treatment started, the higher your success rate for saving your dog.
Now when you take your dog to the vet, expect them to tell you that it is more than likely your dog will not survive. They will recommend that you put him to sleep, or keep him there for a few days hooked to IV. If you are like me, you want to have a small fighting chance of saving your dog. So the first option wasn't even a choice. Second, keeping your dog at the vet can be costly, hundreds or thousands of dollars. They are not going to give your dog the one on one attention he deserves and they will not be in a comfortable place if something were to happen. Another thing they will more than likely not tell you is that you can purchase IV fluid and a syringe from them and give your dog IV at home.
How to Help Your Dog
While you are at the vet, ask for IV fluid and a syringe. Ask for an antibiotic to help with the fight. We administered the antibiotic how it was prescribed. We administered a concoction of Vitamin C (smashed 1/2 of pill) and Pedialyte every hour.
The tricky part is the IV fluids. You must keep your dog hydrated, this is the number one reason a dog does not make it through Parvo. We injected a full syringe of fluid between the shoulder blades or another part of the back if this area is getting sore. You will see a big bubble raise from his skin. We did this every 15 to 30 minutes. If there was still fluid under the skin, we did not inject more. While he is dehydrated, you will be able to pull the skin up and let go and it very slowly go back. If he is getting hydrated the skin should fall back into place fast.
If you are worried about him eating, you may give him some broth. We boiled chicken and tried giving him a piece every so often. When your dog begins eating, this is the first sign he has won the fight. But keep following your routine until you can see a full recovery.
You will know after a few days if your dog is going to make it. Their stool will be uncontrollable and very bloody. They will not be able to lift their head or body. This is the time to have them put to sleep. Hearing them pass is the worst thing...
Now if you have made it through this fight, you must clean up and prevent it from happening to any other dog that may come in contact with where you had your sick dog. Unfortunately, the only thing that kills the Parvovirus is BLEACH.
I bought a bottle that hooks to the end of the hose, filled it with bleach and soaked our yard with this. I did it at night, so it would have time to soak into the ground. Parvo can live in soil or dog feces for a year or more. I know you're thinking, spraying bleach on my yard may kill it. Yes, it may or it may not. A dead yard was worth another dog not getting sick.
We had tan carpet so I sprayed the carpet, walls and everywhere else I could think of with a bleach and water spray.
Puppies are the most likely to get it. If you can't take your animal to the vet, they sell shots at tractor supply stores. Get them as soon as you get your new dog or for any other dog you have that does not have their shots. This is the best way to avoid this heartbreaking experience!!!
We have had 3 out of 4 dogs get this virus. All puppies and all shortly after we brought them home. We watched 2 die and we got one put to sleep. We have nursed back to health, Cloud. Our other dog was sick and we immediately put Cloud in the garage. We kept an eye on him through his brothers sickness and shortly after his brother died, he got it. After all the clean up I did, I felt frustrated. But Parvo can take awhile to show signs. We took him to the vet and they said he had too much of the virus and recommended that we put him to sleep. We told him no and asked for the IV and antibiotic. And now we can say he was wrong. Cloud is 4 years old and is still a little fighter! We worried about him getting it again, but they say once they've had it they don't get it again. Just in case we gave him a first round shot for Parvo. We don't let anyone who has a dog without shots around him. As a just in case as well.
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