Parvo in the dog looks a lot like other viruses causing hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (bloody diarrhea), vomiting, lethargy and death. Two other viruses causing the same symptoms are Rotavirus and Corona virus. There are vaccines for both parvo and corona viruses but not for rotavirus. As a veterinarian I’ve personally never seen a dog over the age of 2 years die of parvo but I feel it’s essential to vaccinate puppies for this deadly disease. If you are adverse to vaccinating then you can cut back on vaccinating for these disease to every few years once you get past the challenge stage of that first year.

Dogs that usually break with parvo are either not vaccinated or their mother has never been vaccinated or they have been exposed to a really hot form of the virus at too young of an age. Unfortunately many people with parvo puppies could not afford to vaccinate so now they are in big trouble because their veterinarian wants them to pay lots of money up front to treat the puppy.

Now why is that? Well, let me tell you why.

We have to have a special room designated for contaminated patients, spend LOTS of extra time washing, cleaning, bleaching both the animal blankets and our own clothes. The clinic once contaminated with that virus could easily transfer the virus to other pets coming into the clinic (that’s why we use lots of bleach—because it kills the virus). Then we have to spend lots of extra time educating the staff and new help we’ve hired in the art of sterile technique and watch each other carefully to prevent spread of the disease. And parvo/rota/corona virus stinks really really bad! It’s just nauseating. And we have to worry about tracking that virus home to our own pets as well. We set up bleach foot baths to walk in several times a day (and that isn’t good for our health). Oh the list goes on.

So it’s kind of a slap in the face once we’ve put several hundred dollars into an animal to safe it’s life not to even get paid for the time and money we put into a case. Now that we have that said here are some tips on how to treat your pet at home. . .

Feed ice chips No water or food until vomiting stops. Homeopathic remedies (Viral Immune System Stimulator drops) work very well for intestinal virus diseases. My clients have a bottle of both viral and Bacterial System Stimulator drops on hand at all times. It’s my job they never get sick from something so easy to fix and it would take too long to mail them to you if you have the disadvantage of experiencing Parvo.

The drops cost $15/bottle plus shipping but you must be a client for me to dispense this.  Veterinary treatment, hospitalization, intensive care and fluids for Parvo can cost up to a couple thousand dollars depending on where you live, and it may not save your dog.

When Parvo, Rotavirus, or Corona hits, you have to move fast. Some breeds can die within a matter of a couple of days, that’s why I suggest having the drops on hand. And humans use these drops, too, so I consider it an investment in your health in the area of prevention.

Bland Diet Mixture:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamed full-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 large hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry Cream of Wheat, Cream of Rice or WHITE boiled rice cooked up to two cups.

Cook Cream of Wheat, Cream of Rice or white boiled rice according to package directions and let cool. Add the egg and cottage cheese. Mash it all together.  Refrigerate left-overs.

Note: Brown rice has too much fiber in it at this time and can irritate inside the small intestine causing more damage.

Feeding instructions:

Step 1: Give small amount of the bland diet up to four times a day (1-2 tablespoons maximum) for the first 24 hours. If vomiting resumes, go back to the ice chips and consult your local veterinarian. Please don’t call me. I won’t be able to help you fast enough (unless you have those drops).

Step 2:  If no vomiting occurs, give slightly larger amounts of the bland diet with greater frequency up to once every 2 hours. Offer small amounts (no more than 1/4 cup) of water in between. If vomiting occurs, go back to Step 1. Do this for 2-3 days.  Increase the volume of water each day until the dog finally has had enough to drink. Letting them drink too fast and too much will cause them to vomit again…trust me.

Step 3:  If the animal is doing well, mix small amount of regular dog food in with the bland diet and gradually give larger amounts with greater frequency. If the regular diet is kibble, soak it so that it is soft first.

Step 4: Normal feeding program may be resumed within 6-7 days if all goes well.

Important Notes:

The dog will shed virus in its stool for up to three months after recovery, so clean up all piles of poop immediately and put them in the garbage in a plastic bag. 

Disinfect all areas, blankets/towels and anywhere the dog has been with 1 part bleach to 30 parts water. Scientifically, this seems to be the most effective dilution used in killing viruses.

Be an RPO (Responsible Pet Owner). Keep the dog away from other animals for three months.  Notify your neighbors to update their animal’s vaccines for Parvo and Corona.

Vaccines and Nosodes: Prevention of this disease is much easier than possibly losing a beloved pet. If you don’t believe in vaccinating your pet, you will want to use pet nosodes which are a homeopathic vaccine that is totally safe. The only problem is that you have to give drops orally once a week for at least four years for continual protection of your pet from all kinds of diseases. Some people are not willing to do this. The law will not accept this alternative treatment for rabies. 

Good Luck!

© 2005 by Dr. Denice M. Moffat

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