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The illness commonly referred to in veterinary parlance as ‘parvo’ is actually called Canine parvoviral enteritis. Unvaccinated dogs and puppies are at a higher risk of developing an infection with this virus, which leads to very severe intestinal damage. This article will go over some very important tips to treat your dog for this infection at home.
Keep in mind
Even though there are some home remedies you can try, if you notice that your has diarrhea, is vomiting, depressed or lethargic, then take it to the vet without hesitation. The resulting dehydration caused by the illness can surely become an issue, even though this infection isn’t always fatal. Another issue is that parvovirus is really contagious, which is very bad for any other pets you have around the house, which might need to be quarantined immediately if they’ve been in contact with the affected one.
It is always a better idea to go to a veterinary clinic to take care of infectious problems but sometimes money can be quite the issue, considering that medical bills for your pet can quickly rise to sky-high levels. Although real-world money issues might keep you from providing the best care for your pet, it shouldn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to help it feel better.
Oftentimes it happens that some home remedies are just as powerful and produce the same desired impact as expensive medical treatments do while being considerably cheaper and less harsh on the pet’s body. On the other hand, keep in mind that home remedies might make you lose precious time necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of certain illnesses because they are less reliable and don’t always produce the necessary results. This is why, if you’re inclined to use home remedies, you will have to keep your pet under close watch and take it to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible if things start to get worse.
What exactly is Parvovirus?
Canine parvovirus is a disease that is very contagious and can easily become deadly if ignored. This virus is known to latch on cells lining the intestinal tract and other rapidly reproducing cells it finds. It will be shed in the stool of an infected dog for several weeks after infection. Any dog that goes near the infected feces will risk getting infected with the virus, especially in the case of oral contact. The dog can also carry this virus on its feet and hair, taking it into its bed, crate, and other areas where it spends time. The virus can infect a new host if it licks an infected area like the hair or feet of a dog carrying the virus.
Is your dog at risk?
This is a disease that can affect all dogs, regardless of their age, even though puppies between 6 and 20 weeks are among the most commonly infected. Among the most susceptible breeds are Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers, even though scientists are yet to know why.
What are the most common symptoms?
After an incubation period of about 4 to 5 days, the infection will begin to show early symptoms like:
This might also be paired with a fever of up to 106°F, although this isn’t always the case. Puppies might also experience severe abdominal pain. This can be seen if you examine the stomach. It will be slightly tucked up. Diarrhea can contain blood and/or mucus and is usually profuse. You will notice that the dog will go through severe and quite rapid dehydration.
The best thing you can do at this point is to take the pup to a vet as soon as possible. This is the best thing you can do regardless of whether diarrhea and vomiting are caused by parvo or not, because these symptoms, when ignored, can cause severe issues in the dog’s body.
If you take your dog to the vet, the usual course of treatment will be medications and intravenous fluids to keep diarrhea and vomiting under control. In certain severe cases, the dog might need other intensive care treatments like blood plasma transfusions.
Home remedies to consider
You will have to fight dehydration by preparing an electrolyte fluid, using these ingredients:
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin juice/chicken broth for flavor
- ½ teaspoon Morton Lite salt (This contains sodium chloride and potassium)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups boiled or bottled drinking water
Add the last three ingredients to 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
After you mix the ingredients, don’t forget to let the solution cool before giving it to your dog.
This electrolyte solution can be improved with activated charcoal, which is a known ingredient that helps dogs regain their strength. To add it, just mix a one-half cup of electrolyte solution with a one-quarter teaspoon of activated charcoal and then give it to your dog. You will have to give the dog this mixture every 3 hours but keep giving it plain electrolyte solution as well, half an hour apart.
I wouldn’t want to leave you with the impression that veterinarians are replaced by a simple medication recipe you found on a random blog, so make sure you get professional help if you notice your dog’s health getting worse. You should never ignore a dog that is vomiting or has diarrhea. These symptoms, if not treated as soon as possible, can have severe effects on your dog.