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Canine Parvo Recovery-Personal Story

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Parvo is a devastating disease. It’s very expensive to treat and often does not have a good outcome. We share our hope and experience with canine parvo to offer support to you trying to care for your pup at home.

Sherman And Carson
Big Sherman And his Sick puppy friend Carson

Canine Parvo progresses FAST and you need to get your dog into the vet ASAP and get the diagnosis and treatment plan started. Do NOT wait for it to get worse. The earlier you treat this virus the better your pups chances of recovery.

Parvo Symptoms:

This infographic Lists the common symptoms for Canine Parvo in puppies and adult dogs. Your dog may show some or all of these and other symptoms that don’t make sense (secondary illnesses are common with Parvo).

Canine Parvovirus Symptoms

If you see these signs of parvo in your dog DON’T WAIT! Get to a vet fast.

Carson’s Parvo Recovery Journey:

Please also read the comment section below this post for more personal experiences, tips and advice from others who have been through Canine Parvo.

We rescued a beautiful Chiweenie (Chihuahua and Dachshund mix) from a shelter in Texas in October 2015. He was 17 weeks old when we picked him up from a PetCo rendezvous point. The 3 hour drive to pick him up was filled with excitement and anticipation.

At Olympia Petsmart picking up our Chiweenie pup Carson. Didn't know he was already sick
FB POST: Oct 7, 2015 “Sorry Everyone for my recent disappearance from Facebook. Our new puppy has Parvo. We are fighting for his life right now. All prayers welcome!”

When we got to the store, they handed us an adorable brown puppy that was quiet in our arms and trembling.  Poor scared baby. We bought him all his puppy stuff, food and toys and headed back up the freeway.

A day after he was brought home, he started appearing very lethargic and seemed to be having increased trouble with wheezy breathing and snuffling.

He wasn’t a bouncy and healthy looking puppy and seemed too warm. Even Sherman looked concerned for lil Carson and snuggled him. Time to visit the vet.

VET DIAGNOSIS: Our new puppy had advanced pneumonia and a severe case of worms. He also was in the beginning stages of Parvo, a literal death sentence for most dogs.

We were stunned! Shocked and devastated. How could this be happening?

The vet quickly outlined Our options:

  1. Admit him to the animal hospital for a few thousand dollars where they will give him fluids and antibiotics to combat the Parvo and pneumonia. (The vet gave NO guarantee of survival. In fact he had very little hope even a hospital stay could save our dog.)or…
  2. We could treat him at home and try and save him. Keeping in mind that he will almost certainly die with this option.

We couldn’t afford the hospital, so we chose to treat him at home. He would have love and whatever help we could give him.

Carson recovering from Parvo/Pneumonia.
October 24,2015 Carson is doing better! Loving this little snuggler. He still has a lung infection but is improving every day. He kicked the parvo. What’s a massive lung infection eh?

If you treat your puppy at home…BRACE YOURSELF. This is a non stop 24/7 experience. Get as much help from your vet as you can afford. Many vets are flexible and will care for the pup during the day so you can care for them after work. But I have no idea when you will sleep.

We went round the clock treatments since we had no IVs for hydration.

Canine parvo recovery support for your pup requires constant and relentless care by you until all symptoms are finished and even longer if the dog is still ill with secondary problems as our dog was.

NOTE: By the time it was all said and done we still spent several hundred dollars on our canine parvo recovery journey. Home care was cheaper than vet hospital. But not cheap.

At The Onset of Symptoms:

We had no idea what to do. Mom hugged the pup and syringed water down him while I consulted Google.

There were several reports of Tamiflu working on Parvo when administered orally via a liquid suspension within the first 48 hours of symptoms appearing. Here is a scientific article describing it’s effectiveness and recommended dosage. Your vet will have to prescribe it.

We got on the phone with the Vet and asked him for a Tamiflu prescription. He was skeptical at first, but he Found a study done on the positive effects of Tamiflu for dogs with Parvo.

He did end up writing us the prescription with proper dosage. He may have saved Carson with that prescription.

What happened next was one of the most physically and emotionally taxing weeks of our lives. We nursed that puppy 24 hours a day. I stayed overnight to help and We both syringed fluids and medicine down his throat every 15 minutes during the day, and every hour all night long.

Meanwhile, I spent countless hours doing research on the Internet and constantly watching him for dreaded new symptoms appearing. It was grueling and emotionally devastating but we kept it up. Neither of us would quit.

Learning about Canine parvo signs was a big help. We watched for the signs of progression and the timeline of the stages of the disease so we could move forward with him and know where he was in the process.

  • The rule of thumb is 72 hours for the ACUTE symptoms to run their course. This timeline can lengthen so don’t get discouraged. Get more help!
  • If the dog survives through the symptoms be encouraged the worst is over for the Parvo virus.
  • Do NOT stop treatment unless cleared by a vet. Parvo is very debilitating and the dog needs a LOT of Long term support to get back to health.
  • Secondary problems can be worse than Parvo.

CANINE PARVO RECOVERY:

There is NO specific cure for Parvo. The virus must run its course. The following guide will help you see the areas of support your pet needs to have the best chance of survival. Here is an infographic summary of the care a pup needs in recovery from parvo.

Parvo Recovery process

BACK TO OUR STORY:

Carson our Canine parvo Survivor
Carson our Canine parvo Survivor

Carson’s Positives:

  1. Carson had already had his first round of Parvo immunizations.
  2. We caught the disease before he was symptomatic with bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
  3. He was 17 weeks old and a little stronger than a brand new 7 or 8 week old puppy.
  4. He is a small mixed breed dog that is said to have one of the better chances of survival (large breeds often don’t fare as well as small breeds with this disease. (Dehydration is a HUGE issue-get Sub cu fluids in OFTEN for your large breed pup).

Carson’s BIG negative:

  1.  He not only had Parvo, he also had a nasty case of pneumonia and BAD worms.
  2. Carson was weak, stressed and tired from traveling in a van all the way from Texas to WA.
  3. He was underweight and malnourished going into this disease.
  4. The vet held little hope for his survival and adopted a hands off attitude once we decided on a home cure.

Parvo Symptoms and progression:

  • Severe Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea (We only saw blood in his stool twice, and it was a trace amount. We believe the quick administration of Tami Flu kept his intestines from getting too inflamed.)
  • Vomiting. This became fairly severe. We held him upright and motionless in our arms in a chair all day long so he wouldn’t get up and vomit.(He wanted to but managed to keep some of the fluids he needed down). You will need the vet to prescribe an anti nausea medicine. The Vibactra also helped with nausea.

Secondary Issue:

Secondary Issues often complicate Parvo recovery.

Pneumonia to the degree Carson had it will kill all on its own. Carson did nearly die of once the Parvo was done with him.

  • Thick Yellow fluid draining from his nostrils (it was an advanced case of pneumonia with lung scarring).
  • Coughing/wheezing from pneumonia fluids filling his lungs and sinus.
Carson- Chiweenie-Parvo Survivor

Our Home Treatment Method for Canine Parvo:

Administering Tamiflu. We believe this was essential to minimizing the intestinal destruction of Parvo. The Tamiflu coats the lining of the intestines and stops the Parvo from shredding the intestinal lining. This ended up working really well and we only had 1 day where he had minimal blood present in his stool. (NOTE: If you can’t get hold of TamiFlu use Pepto Bismol. Your vet can tell you how much.)

Constant hydration: One of the biggest factors that leads to the demise of the dog is the quick and massive dehydration that results from the constant vomiting and diarrhea that a dog with Parvo will present.

We used a 25 ml syringe filled with water, and we pried his mouth open and shot it down the back of his throat every 15 minutes during the day and every hour all night long. Even so, we could not keep up with his fluid loss. Vets can do fluids through a sub cu bolus. That made all the difference for Carson.

Supporting the immune system and using anti nausea remedies:

we used holistic medicine that I found from this website. This medicine is called Paxxin (intestinal support) and Vibactra (Immune system support and anti-nausea). we HIGHLY recommend both of these homeopathic treatments for the support of your dog.

We ordered the medicines from Amazon and received it on Prime 2 day shipping. Parvo Virus Combo Pack – Parvaid and Vibactra Plus by Amber Technology.

If you don’t have 2 days to wait, start calling local pet stores and see if you can find it from someone local. Don’t wait to start administering this. Use them both until your dog is fully healed. The Vibactra is incredible at boosting the immune system fast.

 Hydration boost from the vet:

We took our puppy back to the vet on day 3 to get a bolus of subcutaneous fluids pumped into him. Most vets should be willing to do this for your dog.

It’s not an admission to the hospital so less expensive. They had us bring Carson in the back door into isolation at lunch time when the vets were out and so were the other patients. (Yeah, they don’t want this disease spread!)

The bolus of sub cu fluids helped our puppy immensely. It will also give you a bit of relief from syringing fluids down your dog. Carson was only 4 pounds.

You need to make all this work for whatever dog you are supporting. Canine parvo recovery is all about the dog and whatever it needs.

The vet also prescribed a triangulation of antibiotics to attack Carson’s pneumonia as well as help with the Parvo. Carson brought a REALLY bad case of hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms from Texas. He was given Strongid to evacuate the worms before he was diagnosed with Parvo and had to be re-wormed several times over several weeks to completely get rid of them.

These secondary issues almost killed him. This is often the case with Parvo.

Canine Parvo weakens a pup and allows other secondary conditions to worsen and kill even after the Parvo is conquered.

Getting Food Started again:

When our puppy was finally ready to eat, we started him on a really bland diet of plain rice and chicken.

We even blended it up and syringed some down his throat. As soon as he was able to start keeping food down, his condition improved immensely.

We also got a hold of some local goat milk and kefir, this is great if you can get some to build the digestive tract back up again!

Chiweenie pup with Parvo.
October, 10 PUPPY FB UPDATE: Carson is in day six of Parvo/pneumonia and he is getting better!!! Kayti and I have been so excited for his improvement today. Yesterday he spiked a high fever and I thought we were losing him. The vet brought him back with fluids and meds. Long pull yet but he’s through the worst we think.

We continued to administer the Paxxin and Vibactra at home in addition to the MASSIVE number of pills the vet prescribed. These homeopathic supports were amazingly restorative. Within two weeks Carson’s lung ex ray showed miraculous healing.

His lungs were all clear with NO SCARRING. He came back to full health over the next several months. We attribute the exceptional recovery in part to these supports.

Medical Support NOTE: Carson’s Doc really had NO hope we could save our pup so he was hands off other than prescribing the Tamiflu. And yet.  Carson would NOT have made it without the vet clinic support.

The vet techs stepped up and administered fluids and advise. We are very grateful for their help and highly recommend you get as much support from your vet clinic as you can. The vet was AMAZED Carson made a full recovery!

He is fully recovered with no lung scarring or long term ill effects from the Parvo or Pneumonia. Find hope here!

We sincerely hope that some of the information above is a help in your canine parvo treatment at home. That being said, please remember that Parvo is a very serious viral infection that often does not end well.

Every pet will have a different circumstance, and ability to fight off this disease. We have only encountered Parvo once (and I hope we don’t ever see it again!) but we would use the same treatment method if we had another dog in our care that was ill from the Parvo virus.

Parvo is HIGHLY INFECTIOUS: YOU MUST DISINFECT after this disease finishes. PREVENT all puppies and unimmunized dogs from entering the home or yard for at least TWO YEARS. We were fortunate Carson’s housemates were fully immunized and adults with good natural strength and immunity.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be healthcare advice, veterinary or medical diagnosis, treatment or prescribing of any kind.

Additionally, none of this information should be considered a promise of benefits, a claim of cures, a legal warranty or a guarantee of results to be achieved. This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your pet’s veterinarian or any other healthcare provider.

Our Canine Parvo Recovery Journey

Further Reading:

the Canine Parvo Virus

Home Remedies for Parvo

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Michael Elliot Gilmore

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Hello! Our pup was diagnosed with parvo today. I’m glad to see a positive story. Thank you.

Our pup is GSD/Malinois. Almost 6 months old. He was isolated to our house, but must have contracted it by some means. May have already been here, or someone tracked it in. Regardless, he’s still drinking water and urinating. He was giving 1.5 liters subcutaneous saline. And we have an additional 750ml to give at home tomorrow (3 days worth). He was given IV anti-nausea meds, antibiotics and antacids to help his stomach. He’s alert, but obviously doesn’t feel well. So far, no blood in the vomit or stool. We were also given an appetite enhancer (orally) that he’s keeping down so far.

For our case, the vet said his white blood cell count should be 50,000-120,000... his is only 70. Hoping the antibiotics will aid in allowing him to fight... we will be going back tomorrow for another checkup and more IV nausea meds.

I’m also bringing my other GSD in to be tested and get a booster to be sure. We’re moving in two weeks and can’t afford hospitalization. This is as close to hospitalization as it gets for us... will be at least a grand by weeks end...

Diane

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Hi Michael, Oh I HOPE your pup makes it. He's starting out with good medical support and a family that is working hard for him. That will help him fight even when he gets tired later in the week.(and he will get tired. This disease takes a lot out of them)

Keep him close and affectionately touch him a LOT is my only advice other than what you are doing. He will fight harder to stay with you if you let him know you're not giving up. I know how hard this is financially. We found it worth the cost. We still have a happy healthy dog that survived this disease. He's worth every penny of what we paid in money and work to get him through. But even if we lost him I would have know we did all we could. That's all any of us can do.

We also had two other dogs when Carson brought in Parvo. Neither got it. So I hope you have that at least. Taking two through this will be very difficult. You have our prayers and support. This will be a tough week for all of you. Don't give up!

amanda celar

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Hi I am so glad your little pup recovered. We have quite a few rescues on our farm and my comment is not about parvo but about diet for dogs needing diets after a severe illness. i must say that all our dogs are cross breed and do seem pretty tough in the face of illnesses. Our oldest dog Rooney is 14 and four years ago suffered severe health problems due to a tick bite. Our vet gave him daily intravenus fluids for two weeks amongst other drugs and he survived. Hoever two years later he had a severe attack of vomiting and diaorrhea and pancreatitis was diagnosed. He recovered but the vet directed he only have a bland, cooked food diet. For the past two years he has had canned dog food and cooked rice. The dog food is the cheapest and seems low in proteins. He lets me know what he wants because he will refuse any raw meat which is just as well because our dogs are all fed a raw food diet. The one treat he has (when he feels like it and he lets me know) are raw chicken feet to help his rhuematism because they are an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin.The feet are only cartilidge by the way not bone, All hi supllements are natural. On no account do I allow him to eat any fats or bones, He can have marrow bones which he can not chew up. When he was sent home by the vet two years ago it was just before Christmas and she told us to let him pass at home because she did not believe he could survive the pancreatitis , He did and his own instincts tell him what he does and does not want to eat, Sometimes he gets a little milk and water mix and hard menthol candy which he is crazy about. I also make my own dog biscuits for them which are made with flour, ground peanuts and sunflower oil. I can not afford it but if he could live on dried commercial cat grits he would. All my dogs try hard to pinch the cats dried food, I would love to know what the attraction is!. Rice is the only thing he will tolerate with his fodd, ignoring cooked potato, cooked sweet potato etc, He treats an odd treat of bread as something wonderful to eat!!! And a a boiled egg is also something he relishes. He basically has what he fancies (exept any uncooked meat, fat or bones) and is enjoying life to the full.

Diane

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Hi Amanda, Thanks for sharing your experience with convalescing sick doggies. I'm sure other will benefit from your ideas. Have a great day!

Dhruvam

Sunday 16th of August 2020

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi, I read your story and it was very inspiring. But here’s mine. I got a small puppy, beagle to my home on July 21, 2020, and he died of Parvo on 26th July 2020 at 5:30 AM He faught to his last breath but couldn’t survive. I want to bring another dog to my home but I am very scared. I am very fearful of getting a new pup to my home and I want to know what to do if I do want to bring one. Can you suggest something?

Diane

Sunday 16th of August 2020

Hi Dhruvam, I am so sorry to know your puppy died. It is heartbreaking to go through this awful disease and lose him in the end.

Be CAREFUL if you plan to bring any other dog on your property or in your house for the next TWO years. That is how long the parvo bug will live on surfaces and in your yard.

-I suggest an older puppy who has had ALL of his shots. Our Carson got Parvo even though he had the first puppy shots for it. This is a mean bug and it's tough. -Talk to your vet about it. They will know your circumstances best. It's very important to learn how to manage this disease. -ALL dogs visiting your house need to be fully vaccinated do not assume they are safe. Your lawn can harbor the disease too.

You can find a new pup from rescues and shelters. But they may not know the vaccination history. NEVER assume. Do the whole shot sequence again if you cannot find documentation on vaccines. And do that BEFORE the dog enters your car, house or property.

I hope this helps. You have our deepest sympathy. Kayti and I both understand how difficult it is to go through all of this. Best of luck to you.

Ishika

Friday 7th of August 2020

My pup is 5 months old black lab. It has been 70 hours that he has been fighting parvo. It strted at around 3 in the morning on Wednesday and now it's saturday. The doc is giving him injections and IV drips daily or twice a day. We are told not to give him even a drop of water. He is a bit energetic for two days. He gets up hearing any sound and wags his tail speedily on seeing fam members. He sometimes has foul red stool or sometimes it's not smelly. Also he moves his paws a lot while sleeping and licks or tries to eat them when up.Please tell if he can pull through it or not. I am very worried.

Diane

Friday 7th of August 2020

Hi Ishika, I have no idea if your pup can make it. Parvo is a terrible disease. However, it sounds like you are giving him good care. The vet and hydrating the pup with the IV is a REALLY great plan. He will be VERY tired after the symptoms go away in another day or so. Ask the vet to add nutrients into the IV as soon as possible to help him bounce back. If he does not get bad diarrhea and vomiting he has a chance. You his best motivation to recover. Give him lots of hands on gentle touch and talk. Best of luck. Hugs to all.

Jean

Friday 19th of June 2020

Hi. My name is Jean. I was reading your article about the parvo in your puppy and was thinking to myself that I wish I could tell you about the Paxxin and vibactra plus. As I read on, I realize this is what you used also. We had a beautiful litter of nine puppies that was exposed to Pavo three weeks ago. They were due to go to their new homes on Friday when the first puppy on Thursday night became sick. Fortunately my daughter knew of the Paxxin and we started it immediately. One puppy after another came down with it and within 24 to 48 hours each puppy was well. As you know, it was grueling, every hour on the hour giving all the puppies the medicine. Four puppies had gone to their new homes, two of which became very sick. One family took their puppy to the vet and he finally recovered. The other family gave us the puppy back to treat. By the time I got the first one back she was so sick. The treatment we gave her had her eating within 24 hours. I did have to sort of force Feed her chicken baby food. We found one very important thing was using Pedialyte. With every dose of the medicine we gave 2 teaspoons of Pedialyte with a syringe. If we couldn’t get it in their mouth we would give them an enema with it. If you are interested in an amazing website, look up Wolf Creek Ranch, Parvo treatment in California. They walked us through this and were fabulous. I told them I would tell everyone about them because they saved our puppies lives with these products and all of their advice. I felt like they were divine intervention for us. I hope you all have a great day and thank you for your website. It was very interesting.

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