Pet Talk
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Pet Talk

October 21, 2020

In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka tells about symptoms & treatment of parvo in puppies

Can a puppy suffer from both distemper and parvo at same time?

Yes, a puppy can suffer from both distemper and parvo at the same time. Most puppies that are sold by breeders and pet shops usually have both.

Can parvo be cured?

Rarely but only if you catch it early. 85% of puppies die of parvo. Your vet will offer your puppy supportive care over the course of the illness, treating symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration, and making sure that your puppy gets adequate nutrition.

What are the symptoms of parvo?

This virus slips into your dog unnoticed and triggers severe infections. When the virus gets into your dog, it takes 5 to 10 days to incubate. By the 11th day, you will begin noticing symptoms in your dog that are triggered by the virus. The first common sign of parvo in dogs is extreme lethargy. Your dog will sleep a lot during the day and show less activity. As the infection progresses, the pup will develop a severe fever. Vomiting and diarrhoea are other serious symptoms of parvo in dogs. In fact, it is the biggest tell-tale sign that the pup has parvo. Other symptoms may clear away, but vomiting and diarrhoea do not stop. The pup gets severely dehydrated as it loses more body fluids. If you suspect your dog has parvo, take him to a vet for a diagnosis.

There are no vets in my area. How can I treat parvo at home?

This is a step-by-step process. Here is what you need to combat the virus. I am reluctant to tell you because this involves giving injections which is very, very dangerous.

• Saline solution (Distilled Water works if you can’t get a hold of saline); • Minimum 6 cc syringe [Bigger the syringe (not the needle), the better]; • 22 gauge needle;  • Amoxicillin; • Tamiflu; • Pepto bismol; • Baby food; • Thermometer; Vitamins and minerals.

You can use distilled water in place of the saline solution. A 6cc syringe is perfect for a puppy that weighs about 2 pounds. You may need a larger dosage for a bigger dog. A 22 gauge needle is tiny enough to inject the saline water into your puppy. Any need larger than that can cause an injury to your puppy.

Parvo Treatment in Five Days

Day-1: You need to inject the saline solution (or distilled water) into the puppy’s skin. Use your two fingers to pinch the skin at the back of the puppy’s neck. This may be a bit hard if your puppy has lost a lot of water. But do your best in getting a fold of skin between your fingers.

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Now fill the syringe with saline water and inject into the fold of skin between your fingers. Your puppy may yelp in pain. You have to ensure he is held down to prevent any sudden movements. Inject the fluid slowly into the puppy’s skin until you feel a bump forming. The puppy will absorb all the fluids into its system. This will be repeated one-hour after the bump goes down.

Now we introduce Tamiflu to combat those flu-like symptoms caused by parvo. Tamiflu is not recommended after day 1. The flu symptoms tend to stick around for a while. We recommend getting several bottles of Tamiflu for rainy days. Monitor your puppies temperature. Puppies’ normal temperature is 101.5 degrees F.  If their temperature is high, cool them off with a wet rag. Apply the wet rag to their paws, butt, belly, and neck. If their temperature is low, warm them up immediately. Puppy fevers cause organ damage, and should not be taken lightly.

Tamiflu Dosage for puppies: Tamiflu comes in capsules of 75mg each.

Day-2: Ensure you are hydrating your puppy every 3 or 4 hours. Now, besides giving your dog IV fluids, you also have to kill the opportunistic infection ailing your puppy. This is where the Amoxicillin for dogs comes in. It kills the bacterial infection in your puppy’s gut. With the infection gone, your puppy will regain its appetite. Your puppy may have bloody diarrhoea, and a teaspoon of pepto will help coat their stomach providing relief.  If they seem weak, begin force feeding small amount of baby food.

Dosage: The recommended dosage for Amoxicillin for puppies is 10 mg per kg of body weight. Give your puppy the dosage after every 12 hours. This prevents the bacteria from developing resistance to the drug and kills it completely. Baby food should be given in small amounts. 1 to 2 cc of baby food at a time. Feeding small amounts at a time will help prevent vomiting.

Day-3: Continue hydrating your puppy with saline or distilled water every 4 hours. This is usually the worst day. Continue to monitor your puppy’s temperature. Continue to feed your puppy 1 to 2 cc of baby food every so often. This will help with the vitamin deficiency.

Day-4: By this day, you should already notice major improvement in your puppy. Your dog should start showing activities like eating and drinking from his bowl. Take note he is still quite weak. Continue administering the fluid and antibiotics. During the vomiting and diarrhoea bout, your dog lost a lot of nutrients in his body. So introduce vitamins and minerals into his body on day 5.

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Day-5: This is the day people are praying they can reach. If your puppy has been showing symptoms for 5 days and they are not getting any better, there is a good chance they are also infected with Coccidia. Nevertheless, if they are doing better we recommend getting a multivitamin and mineral tonic. Parvo takes a toll on your puppies’ vital organs.  Give your puppy the next ten                 days to recover completely with a gentle diet of khichdi, egg, dahi, lauki, a little haldi, tonics, oatmeal, and baby food like Cerelac. 

It takes 7 days to cure parvo in puppies. You do not have to go for expensive medical treatment for parvo. You only need to rehydrate your dog, kill the bacterial and viral infections in him, and replenish the nutrients and electrolytes he lost.

Can humans get sick from parvo dogs?

The Parvo virus is a viral disease that affects puppy dogs. The canine Parvovirus is just one of the dozens of species of this virus within the Parvoviridae family. The viruses are all limited to a specific species. The canine parvovirus is limited to the canine family, such as dogs, wolves and hyenas. There is also a species of parvo that affects humans, and is limited to only the human species, which indicates that parvo transfer cannot happen between a dog and a human, and the humans can’t get sick from the dogs suffering from that disease.

Is parvo transmitted through urine?

Yes, parvo virus can be transmitted via body secretions of infected dogs, such as urine.

How fast can parvo kill a puppy?

Some of the signs of parvovirus include lethargy; loss of appetite; abdominal pain and bloating; fever or low body temperature (hypothermia); vomiting; and severe, often bloody, diarrhoea. Most deaths from parvovirus occur within 48 to 72 hours following the onset of clinical signs.

What colour is parvo faeces?

With parvo disease, intestinal bleeding occurs in the small intestine so that the blood is partially digested. Hence, the colour of parvo poop is usually black. Also, there may be bad odour associated with it.

Can a puppy get parvo twice?

Once a dog has recovered from the parvovirus it is not likely it will get it again.

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