Help Your Dog Survive Parvo
How we helped our dog survive parvo
First of all I just want to say Vaccinate you dogs on time for every set (at least 3)!!! If you cannot afford to take your dog to see the vet for each shot ask if you can purchase the vaccine. We purchase parvo vaccines from our vet for $5.
However, if your dog gets sick with parvo there are things you can do to help them survive. All dogs are different and some just won't make it. We had two dogs catch it. There were sisters from the same litter so everything was basically the same except for the outcome.
<~This is Breezy. Our other Baby :)
Unfortunately Rain did not make it despite taking her to the vet and being told she had a %70 chance of survival. He said he thought she would be fine and she died the next night. It was the most heartbreaking thing to experience.
So, when her sister Breezy came down with it my first thought was that we should have her put down to avoid her suffering. But I spoke to my neighbor and she recommended a different vet so we gave him a call. I spent hours searching the internet for tips and asking friends for advice.
And here's what we came up with....
How do you vaccinate your dog?
Do you take your dog to the vet for vaccines, or administer them yourself?
Keep them hydrated and settle their stomach.
This is SO important. Don't let them get dehydrated
Go buy some plain Pedialite, it has no color and no flavor and you can get it at Walmart, or any grocery store. Offer this to them but don't let them drink more than a few laps at a time so they don't make themselves sick.
If they wont drink I suggest giving them a dropperful (at least a teaspoon) every 20 minutes. If they can't keep it down you need to help them settle their stomach.
There are two methods for this.
First is Pepto-Bismol. It settles their stomach but they do not like the taste. I gave a teaspoonful for every ten pounds of body weight per vet instructions. It was easiest to use a baby medicine dropper and squirt it towards the back of the mouth so they don't have to taste too much.
Second, and this is what I recommend most, is charcoal tablets purchased from the vet. These are used for animals that have been poisoned, but they helped settle my dogs stomach enough that she started eating and drinking on her own. Normally you should just give the pill to the dog whole, but a sick dog won't swallow a pill well so I followed these vet instructions. Crush and dissolve one pill in one teaspoonful of water and give it by dropper. I gave my dog 3 pills a day unless she started acting quesy again and then I would give her an extra. All vets are different but ours sold us a baggie full for $3.
Feed them when they are ready to eat - You have to give the the right foods
It is not unusual for a dog with parvo to avoid any food for a few days but you really don't want them to go more than three days without food.
If they are not eating give them some chicken broth, the real stuff is better than the canned stuff, but anything is better than nothing.
The vet gave us a sheet of foods to give to dogs with diarrhea and vomiting and they work very well.
Boiled chicken (torn up in little pieces because it wont be easy for them to eat).
Eggs (the vet said raw eggs but my dog didn't like them so I gave her boiled eggs torn up and she loved them, she still does)
Baby food (preferably the chicken, chicken and veggies, etc) This is good if they wont eat solids yet.
Do not offer any dog food until they are no longer having bloody or runny stools because their stomach cannot tolerate it.
Tip-add broth to the chicken and rice and egg so your dog gets some of that too, but make sure it is not so soupy that they have to drink a lot before they can get any food
Also, our vet gave us an anti inflammatory shot for her to help her eat, and an antibiotic shot to keep her from getting a secondary infection (he is the Best vet ever!)
Things to keep in mind
It is important to know that any dog with parvo is going to leave a nasty mess wherever they are staying. I suggest either a VERY large crate or a room with non porous floors. Cover everything in several layers of newspaper and clean up after every bowel movement. It stinks and you don't want a sick dog laying around in their own mess. It certainly wont help them get any better.
Clean everything with bleach. Bleach is the only thing that will kill the parvo virus and it can live for a long time without a host (up to 18 months in a yard according to my vet, but don't spray your yard with bleach because it will not kill the virus in the ground) I recommend having a pair of flip flops or slides just for the room where your dog is staying so you are not tracking the virus all over the place for you too clean up later. Do not scour the room with bleach and leave your dog in there! Do not clean any food or water bowls or medicine droppers with bleach unless they have ample time to dry before being used and have been rinsed thoroughly.
Baby your dog. They know they may not make it. You can see it in there eyes and feel their pain. But I believe they know what you are doing for them. I know breezy and rain both did. The main difference I saw between them was will power. Rain appeared to give up while breezy wanted so badly to be with her brother that she would climb up on a little windowsill and lean on the window and cry. She wanted to get better so she could be with the others. She is a survivor.
Your dog is going to get scary skinny. Breezy was all bones by the time she got better and it took a while for her to gain her weight back but she looks great now. Her teeth even shifted outwards due to lockjaw, but they look much better now. I kept feeding her boiled chicken and rice and eggs for weeks after she got over the virus to help her with nutrients and weight gain.
Also, and this is very important, someone HAS to be there to take care of the dog the entire time they are sick. You have to be there to make sure they drink, get medicine, have their mess cleaned up, and feed them. It will be at least 3 crucial days but most likely a full week. I would recommend setting 5-7 days aside where you can check on them at least every hour. The first 2 days you need o check on them about every 15 minutes.
It was better for us when we had a vet that was willing to help us, help our dog and try new things. He even said he didn't think the charcoal tablets would help, but he sold them to us and they worked better than anything else! They helped settle her stomach so she could keep things down. So if you have a good vet contact them and see what they can do. I know we called ours everyday and went up there (without breezy) several times that week.
Keep your dog away from any other dogs that could catch the virus while they are sick of course (it is highly contagious to dogs, but no other animals including humans will be affected by it) and for two weeks after all diarrhea and vomiting has stopped.
Good luck to you, I know it is hard to see them so sick but your effort makes all the difference.
Other parvovirus treatment options - Other treatment options
I have not tried these
Breezy is a Mommy :)
Just thought I'd update everyone on Breezy
Breezy is the proud momma of two new puppies (her 1st litter, she had a little trouble). Aren't they so cute?! She had a boy and a girl. They are a week and a half old right now and their eyes will be open soon :) So excited!
The good news is that they should have a slightly higher immunity to parvo since their mother actually caught it, rather than just being vaccinated (they get her immunities while nursing). However, we will be vaccinating them before they get to go outside (just to be safe).
The pups have found new homes! - Boss & Bella
Glad to say that our cute lil pups found loving new homes! We miss them (but fortunately we still get to see them every now and then)
Our Happy Girl! - We love her
This is a new picture of Breezy :)