Canine parvoviral enteritis is often termed ‘parvo’ in veterinary parlance. Puppies and unvaccinated dogs are at a high risk of contracting this infection, which causes severe intestinal damage. This DogAppy article gives you important tips to help treat your dog at home.
If your dog seems lethargic and depressed, is vomiting, and/or has diarrhea, it’s time to take it to the vet, ASAP. Though parvo isn’t necessarily fatal, the resulting dehydration can put your dog’s life at risk. Also, parvovirus is highly contagious, which means that if you have other pets, you must quarantine the affected pet immediately.
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to afford the sky-high veterinary bills, and provide our beloved pets with the best of treatment to cure whatever it is that ails them. Unfortunately, real-world economics prevent it from happening, but this doesn’t mean that we have to sacrifice the welfare of our pets in the process.
Often, simple home remedies can have the desired impact as compared to expensive medical treatments, and they’re also not as harsh. However, remember that home remedies cannot always be relied on, and there is this chance of losing precious time by delaying the necessary treatment. Therefore, always be prudent and keep a close watch on the progress your pet makes while administering home remedies―take your pet to the clinic immediately in case its condition remains the same, or worse, deteriorates.
What is Parvovirus?
Canine parvovirus is a deadly and contagious disease. The virus has a tendency to latch on to rapidly reproducing cells, specifically those lining the intestinal tract. The virus is shed in the stools of infected dogs for up to several weeks following infection. Then on, it is transmitted by oral contact with infected feces. The dog’s hair and feet are perfect carriers for the virus, as are contaminated crates, bedding, and other objects. When a dog licks the infected fecal material off hair, feet, it acquires the disease.
Is my dog at risk?
The disease may affect dogs of all ages, but the highest number has been found in puppies aged 6 to 20 weeks. Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers have been observed to be especially susceptible; however, the reason behind it remains unknown.
What are the symptoms?
The virus has an incubation period of 4 – 5 days, after which the earliest symptoms begin to manifest:
In addition to this, some dogs may have fever touching 106°F, whereas others may not. Check for severe abdominal pain in puppies by observing the area―the stomach will appear slightly tucked-up. Diarrhea is profuse and contains mucus and/or blood. The dog will experience rapid and severe dehydration as a result of this.
If possible, it is highly recommended that you take your pup to the vet immediately―in fact, irrespective of being diagnosed with parvo or not, symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea should never be ignored.
If taken to the vet, your dog will be administered intravenous fluids and medications to control vomiting and diarrhea. Severe cases may require blood plasma transfusions and other intensive care treatments.
To combat the dehydration, you may prepare an electrolyte fluid using the following:
- 4 cups boiled or bottled drinking water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon Morton Lite salt (since it contains both, potassium and sodium chloride)
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin juice/chicken broth for flavor
Add the last three ingredients in the boiling water and mix them well. Cool it before you feed it to your dog. You may use a syringe to feed it directly in the mouth if it refuses to drink from a bowl. Alternatively, you can freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray, and give your dog these cubes to lick.
Here’s another recipe:
- 1 liter boiled water
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ tablespoon sea salt
Combine the ingredients and remember to cool the solution before feeding.
Activated charcoal has been known to supplement this electrolyte solution, helping the dog regain strength. Mix one quarter teaspoon of the activated charcoal into one half cup of electrolyte solution, and try to get your pup to drink it. Try dosing with this mixture every 3 hours, and keep up with the plain electrolyte solution every half an hour.
One cannot stress enough on how crucial it is to get professional help in case your dog’s health is on the line. Symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting should never be taken lightly; it is absolutely important to consult a vet in such conditions.
Disclaimer: This DogAppy article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of a veterinary physician.