How To Help a Dog With Parvo

Your Animal

How much would you be willing to spend to help your animal get better?

See results without voting

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.

Signs/Symptoms

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.

Harsh Reality

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...

Clean Up/Prevention

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!!!

Our Success

Our dog Cloud, the little fighter.
Our dog Cloud, the little fighter.

My Story

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.

More by this Author


Comments 28 comments

boutiqueshops profile image

boutiqueshops 5 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

I have a dog, my Toby, who I nursed back to health from parvo when he was a puppy. It was horrible. I held him every moment I could; spoon fed him water & took him to vet every day for IV fluids. Vet would not let him stay at their clinic. He's now 11 years old and still plays like a puppy. He's also had canine melanoma 3 times. I call him my Miracle Dog. =) Thanks for sharing your story.


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 5 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

Cloud is our miracle puppy too! He's a big dog in a little body. Our fighter.


Nspeel profile image

Nspeel 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach

Highly recommend checking out http://hubpages.com/animals/The-Unknown-Parvovirus...

It talks about an unknown treatment for parvo it is a great read


Nspeel profile image

Nspeel 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach

Great article by the way though.


jovilyn 4 years ago

what to do my 2 puppies are in this type of problem they could survive without vet if they continue there medication and if i continue to supprt them??


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 4 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

The IV fluid from the vet helped a lot. You have to be able to do this quite often. It's not 100% but it will increase their chances.


kristin 4 years ago

I found out last week our 10 wk old lab/rott mix has parvo.. I could not afford to hospitalize him so we took the pills to do an at home treatment. He seemed to be doing better but yesterday he started in with the bloody diarrhea again. They said I should get another round of antibiotics and the bag of fluids. Im just worried this isn't going to.make him better. If he makes it through, im worried my house is just going to make him sick all over again. What am I supposed to do?


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 4 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

Once they get it they can't again, I think. It's like an immunization. Keep giving him the fluids, often! If he reaches point of not being able to stand on his own, odds are he won't survive. We put our puppy to sleep when this happened because we couldn't watch him suffer anymore. Our puppy, Cloud was still able to walk but didn't do much else.


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 4 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

Unless you are thinking about another dog or have another dog who hasn't had shots for parvo, your house should be ok. Like I said above bleach I the only thing that kills this virus...


Raquelbarreno 4 years ago

I think my dog has parvo, we barely lost a dog yesterday the vet hasen't told us what he died of but I'm scared my other dog got it he has been having diarrhea and he's been throwing up, I'm really scared I don't know what to do


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 4 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

You can take him to the vet and have him tested. And if he does have parvo ask them for IV fluids and a needle to give him the fluids yourself. This will save you thousands of dollars on a vet bill. Ask them to show you how to inject if you are not comfortable. The earlier you get fluids in him the better! Most dogs pass due to dehydration with the virus, not the virus itself.


Jess 4 years ago

RaquelBarreno - Any updates? Obviously the first suggestion is to get the dog into the vet and get him/her tested. Once you know the results you have options. My vet gave me 2: one was a $1300 in office treatment where they would keep the dog over the weekend with IVs etc the second was a $200 at home treatment with antibiotics/anti-nausea medication and self administered pedialyte regime. So far, this has been a very successful regime for us but I must explain that I have spent the last week up 24 hours a day (in shifts with family members) using a (needled free) syringe to get our dog to drink pedialyte (about 35 cc over a 2 hour period). We converted a room in our house to his recovery - we used a puppy fence and a plastic paint drop cloth on the ground with puppy pads in case he got sick. We kept the dog hydrated and administered medications in specific intervals. When we were able, we took the puppy to the vet to have an IV of liquids/electrolytes. Keeping our dog hydrated was the absolute life saver. Its important to remember that the dog might not seem thrilled to be force fed, it is VITAL to continue to do so. Also, since he hadn't eaten in almost a week we found something called Nutri-Cal at Petco that is a high calorie dietary supplement paste that you basically put on the roof of your dogs mouth so even if they aren't eating on their own they are getting some type of calories/energy. (We also tried a syringe of chicken broth, raw egg, baby food, etc... not so successful for us-- but it's possible every dog is different!)

There were some definite low points but by day 6/7 our dog began to make a swing upward. I really hope anyone looking for suggestions finds this helpful!


Ally Becton 3 years ago

I'm going through this battle right now with my 16 wk old boxer mix Roxy, I took her to the vet this morning and they did a parvo test on her, it came back positive. They didn't do and IV what they did was put to huge suryngies of fluid under her skin, poor thing she looks like a hunchback now due to all the fluids in her skin. I took her home and placed her in our kitchen by the vent so she can stay warm. I've also looked up some home remedies to help fight this horrible infection. What I found was from internet and word of mouth is that putting apple cider vinegar in their water (with a syringe) and lots of pedialite to help boost electyalytes will help with this fight. So thank God it's the weekend so I can spend as much time with her as I possible can and continuously give her fluids and broth hopefully we will win this fight. If this works I'll share this with y'all so that way hopefully nobody has to lose another family pet


nathan 3 years ago

i think my dog has parvo and he hasn't had his parvo shot what do i do


Tiffany 3 years ago

Hello i have a 5 month old boxer pit mix her name was lexy she was my everything... my side kick and my best friend she started throwing up everywhere bial she would not eat she would not drink i took her to vet did the fluids under her skin started her on meds.... the next day nothing was different i felt awful i had her put to sleep as i could not afford hospitalization it was thousands of dollars. i am absolutely devastated in every way possible. anyone have any advice how i cope with this. !! :,( :,(


Crystal 3 years ago

On August 28th, my roommate and I both decided to get a couple of dogs. I got my dog Sadie and she got her dog Stripe. My boyfriend and her boyfriend live together with us as well as her 8 year old son. They were 8 weeks old when we got them. We got them from the same person but not a breeder. On September 11, 2013 we gave them their parvo shots.

Unfortunately on September 12, 2013 when they were 10 weeks old they both got Parvo. I believe that dogs are just like humans and can understand you even when they are very sick. I would talk to Sadie every day and even though Stripe wasn't my dog I would also talk to him every day and give him medicine and pedialite when I gave Sadie some. My roommate boyfriend would always say that Stripe wouldn't survive this while I tried saying otherwise cause I wasn't about to give up.

Well, September 15th came around which was a Sunday and I've noticed that Stripe was a lot worse and would probably not make it so me and my roommate decided to rush him to an emergency vet but unfortunately half way there he passed away. Hearing it was the worse thing ever but I vowed not to let the same thing happen to Sadie.

I talked to her constantly and begged for her to start eating and drinking again cause she hadn't ate anything in 5 days but I was constantly giving her pedialite and everything I knew too and with the Grace of God, Sadie is a sole surviver of Parvo.

However, on September 28th, my roommate decided to get another dog so that her son could have one. The lady we got him from wasn't a great owner, that's part of the reason we still took him. We considered him our rescue puppy. The environment she had him in was so bad we felt bad for him who is now named PopCorn.

From the get go he had health issues and have been to the vet constantly for one thing or another since then. Well yesterday on Octover 21, 2013 we noticed he was sick and immediately took him to the Vet, they tested him for Parvo which came back positive. They told my roommate, I wasn't there for it but they told her and her boyfriend to give him the medication they prescribed for him as well as pedialite which I already knew but they also told them to give him some gatorade but didn't specify what kind. I have always been told that for a parvo dog if you do give him or her gatorade to make sure it's the Orange kind and I told my roommate that but because the vet didn't tell them what kind they got him the red kind.

I told my roommate I would take turns with her over night to take care of him. At midnight of October 22, 2013 I gave him some of the gatorade that the vet told my roommate to give him. When my turn came around to check on him again at 2am, I noticed he had gotten a lot worse so I woke my roommate up to show her what I was talking about. He had been bleeding from his butt quite a bit and foaming at the mouth and growing up I always considered those to be at the top of the list of worse cases. So I told her to stop giving him the gatorade as that is the last thing he had and all of a sudden he gotten worse. I gave him pedialite at 2am and am getting ready to go check up on him again now that it is 2:40am. I am very concerned and I don't want him to die, I hate for any animal to suffer this way. Is there anything else I can do for him? Yes, my Sadie survived by me being the sole caregiver for her and doing it all by myself, I want to take over doing this for them but I don't want them to think I'm trying to take over their dog cause that's not what I'm trying to do, I'm just trying to help him beat this and be a surviver. We have seperated Sadie and Popcorn from one another so that Sadie doesn't get Parvo again. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 3 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

I'm not sure that after he starts bleeding stool if there's much hope. Dogs die from parvovirus because of dehydration keep them hydrated! Every 15 minutes or so we gave our dog IV fluid or pedilyte. I found the injection of IV Fluid was the best thing because they are not vomiting it up. We mashed up vitamin c and fed that with it to help his immune system. Once your home has parvo you should not introduce another dog to the same home, unless that dog has had parvo shots before entering the home. Bleach is the only thing that kills the virus! And we can't bleach everything.

And I believe once a dog is a survivor they cannot get it again. It's like getting the shot. Or a human who had chicken pox doesn't get the shot.


Gabriella Brown profile image

Gabriella Brown 3 years ago

At this very moment I am fighting off the parvo with my one puppy (I have four and they were all rescues when I had very little money and couldn't afford their shots - aka some idiot up the road was gonna kill them all and I took them in to give 'em a shot at life). Thankfully she isolated herself from her siblings and when we took her to the vet for the bloody stool we found out it was parvo and put her brothers and sister outside. (They have been inside since another person shot our other dog...and my husband got paranoid.) She has made it since Monday and she has never given up the water (she forces herself to drink it - such a little trouper!) I know it is in the Lord's hands if she survives but I am trying to give her the best shot I can.


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 3 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

Yes I believe what you are doing is best than dogs having to live on the streets all by themselves. Here's to her surviving this.


patty ann 2 years ago

I too have a dog who survived parvo. She is healthy now and such a beautiful dog. From all my research parvo is most common in puppies. If your dog is laying around and has no appetite or drink any water...first sign...go to vet asap...they can help but the utmost important thing is to keep the dog/puppy hydrated...they wont be interested at all...but get the syringe and force the mouth open... and give them water. I fed my puppy gatorade...pedialite is also good...and do research on the parvo virus.


Olivia Blue 2 years ago

Im 13 and 5 months ago, i rescued 5 puppies from starvation on the street. (4 boys 1 girl) They were strays and covered head to toe in fleas, bit them so bad they were bleeding. I spent 3 hours bathing all of them till the bugs were gone. Nobody wanted to help me. I fed them and gave them lots of food and water. I had them for 5 weeks til i gave one to my bff, boy puppy chihuahua terrier Crypto. I gave

theboxer puppy to a soccor mom i gave the beagle puppy to my cousin and i kept the last two (they were all different breeds but treated eachother with love and equality as siblings should) the runt girl Sophie, and the intelligent border collie named Tucker. First after 2 months having them in total(3 months old, sophie was 3 months to) tucker had gotten sick. I kept telling him to be brave and that hes going to make it and i prayed but by the time we figured out what parvo was, and got tested which it came out positive the

vet said, put him to sleep. I started

crying, and then he died in the pet e.r Then we little Sophie her shots, the exact next day she had parvo, it didn't make any sense, after tucjer died we had bleached everything! But then i remebered when Her big brother was sick she had been lying right next ti him and licking him trying to cheer him up. I gave her fluids and meat and pepto bismo and pedialyte but nothing was working. Me and 6 others lit a candle in memory of tucker and prayed for sophie to live. Me and my bff stayed up all night. At 5am we saw blood all over the kitchen floor and at 6am we slept for 30 mins,and that day i,saw sophie had gone into shock, (not moving, only breathing) and she stretched her legs a.d stopped breathing. K started screaming because i lost my two best friends within a week. I now know how to save a dog of parvo. Raw egg, charcoal caps, rice PEDIALYTE chjcken or beef broth pepto bismo, and hope, prayers, and love. I now have little teacup puppy Nikki, i dont want to lose her and want to get her shots but im scared tht if i do the same thing will happen to Nikki what happened to Sophie, shell get her shots and have parvo the next day. I also read the comments and it happened go to other peoples puppys. Fingers crossed.

crying cryi crying


Nspeel profile image

Nspeel 2 years ago from Myrtle Beach

Ur entire house and yard will be infected with parvo for over a year.. U must refrain from getting new puppies around the infected area or wipe out a lot of bleach


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 2 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

We have actually refrained from getting another dog for now. Other dogs that have been around him have had shots and we haven't heard of any issues. We think it has been long enough, but we don't want to go thru the heart break again.


brianna 2 years ago

My name is brianna and my dog has parvo..what shoul d I do


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 2 years ago from Topeka, Ks Author

Did you read the article? All the advice I can give you is there. I would go to vet ASAP tomorrow and get IV fluid.


JMK 16 months ago

We adopted a rescue puppy this past Monday. She seemed fine...albeit a little mellow for a 9 week old puppy. By Monday afternoon, she was vomiting a bit. We thought it was car sickness and anxiety from the adoption. By the middle of the night, I was in the ER learning all about Parvo.

I had 3 options, take the dog back as we were in the window of time where we could get a refund for the dog (she probably would have been put to sleep); put her to sleep myself; or spend up to $3000-4000 on aggressive therapy for her. I was told her chance of survival was not very good if I didn't hospitalize her and possibly do one or two transfusions.

We had decided that night, through lots of tears, to return her to the rescue organization. The ER gave her some IV fluids, antibiotics, anti-nausea meds and pain meds to make her more comfortable.

The next morning, we were close to leaving to take her back, but started frantically calling around for other options. A local vet said for $200, we can care for her at home and hope for the best. We decided to go for it.

We brought home a couple of IV bags, some antibiotics, anti-nausea meds and pain meds to give to her ourselves. The vet gave her the first round Tuesday morning then we took over Tuesday evening. Tuesday was a rough day. She didn't even wag her tail once. We carried her outside for short potty breaks and then placed her back in her crate for rest. She would drink a sip of water then vomit. The last time she ate was Monday morning. We were getting nervous.

Wednesday wasn't much better. She rested some more. We kept giving her the IV and meds. In the middle of the night, she showed signs of wanting to eat. I put a spoonful of bland food the vet gave us in front of her and she licked it. She also wagged her tail for me :)

Thursday morning (today) was a huge turnaround. She ate an 1/8th cup of the bland food in the morning. No vomiting or diarrhea since Wednesday. The diarrhea never became uncontrollable or excessive during her sickness. And she has energy!!! Lots and lots of energy!!! Getting her nose into everything she isn't supposed to....just being a puppy. She ate a bunch more tonight (at least a 1/4 cup or more). Her coat is shiny again and she is so happy. We think we have a parvo survivor on our hands :-)

We caught it very early...got her to the vet and started giving her meds and fluids the first day she showed symptoms. Very important to increase the chances of survival especially if you are going to attempt to care for a puppy with parvo at home.

Through all of this, I've learned a lot. We will not allow any unvaccinated puppies onto our property now that there is parvo on it. It can live in soil and grass for a year or more. And for at least a month after she recovers, I will ask any friends of they have unvaccinated pups before I or my family go around them as we may tge virus on us.


Maximiliano Mont 7 months ago

I just got my german pup 2wks ago. He is now 10 weeks old and got sick all of a sudden. Same symptoms described here about parvo; however, his stools do not smell at all and are not explosive as some people mention, although it does have a little blood in it. i am very worried for him since it has been three days he has not eaten. He sometimes will drink water and other times i have to provide it to him when I see it has been an hour with no fluids in him. I took him to the vet and said it will cost around 300dls to run test for parvo and medicate him. I don't have that kind of $, so I asked for the basic treatment to stop the diarreah and vomiting (antibiotics and something for the vomiting). Vomiting seemed to stop and diarreah has decreased the amount of times he used to poop. He still does watery yellowish bloody poop.

Honestly, i don't want my pup to die. Like I mention I don't think it's parvo since it's the very first dog ever lived in our house and hasn't been out of the house..... or Maybe, I am just in denial. I just hope my pup survives; love him so much and so do my kids!!

If you guys any further advises I will appreciate it very much. Thanks


Corndawgg profile image

Corndawgg 7 months ago from Topeka, Ks Author

I cannot say for certain, I am not a vet, but it sounds like something other than parvo. If it does not get worse in the next few days then I would say it is not this. Parvo attacks very fast and aggressive. I was able to tell within the first few days. Keep your pup hydrated as stated before. This is the reason dogs pass, not the virus itself. By some pedialyte and force your dog to drink, by this I mean use a dropper or pour in his mouth. Maybe give him some viatamin c. Smash pills and give with food or water down and drop in his mouth. I know there is a dog flu of sorts going around as well. If your pup is eating and drinking on his own, may just be sick. With parvo they will not feel like doing either. If he starts to hide, double efforts on hydration. This is something all of our dogs did, because a dog is embarrassed. Good luck!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working