How Do You Treat Parvo At Home?
You’ve probably heard countless stories about Parvo and how horrific going through the treatment process is for dogs and dog owners alike. Oftentimes, there’s really no telling how everything’s going to turn out in the end, and unfortunately, for some, the end simply comes too soon.
Known as one of the deadliest viral diseases in dogs, Parvo isn’t something to take lightly. That’s why early detection and immediate supportive care is crucial to the recovery of infected dogs. However, while supportive care offers a 90% chance of survival, it also comes with a hefty price tag. And sadly, not all dog owners can afford it.
The good news is, with sufficient knowledge and the right methods, it’s possible to treat Parvo at home. Remember these 5 tips and your dog will be back to their happy, fun-loving selves in no time!
After your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with Parvo, the first thing you should do when you get home is to isolate them. Whether you choose to keep them in an indoor dog fence or a spare room, make sure that it’s in a quiet location that’s inaccessible to other animals in the home. Using their dog bed and some warm blankets, create a comfortable resting area for them within the temporary enclosure.
Keeping your dog separated throughout the recovery period will not only prevent the virus from spreading but also minimize their risk of developing secondary diseases while they’re in a vulnerable state. To make sure that you don’t bring pathogens in or out of the isolation area, wash your hands before or after entering.
Since Parvo is shed through all forms of body fluid, including saliva, urine, vomit, and feces, clean up after your dog immediately. When doing so, always wear disposable gloves and triple bag everything while you’re inside the isolation area to prevent the virus from spreading. Also, never step outside the enclosure or room without changing or removing your footwear first.
Since Parvo causes severe vomiting and diarrhea (with or without blood), infected dogs lose significant amounts of fluids. If left untreated, this often leads to dehydration, which is the main cause of death in dogs with Parvo. To combat the rapid loss of water in your dog’s body, make sure that they stay hydrated.
Place a bowl of fresh, clean water inside your dog’s temporary enclosure. If they’re having trouble drinking on their own or showing no interest in drinking at all, then you may need to give them water through a needle-less syringe. Make sure to do this several times a day to keep your dog’s fluid levels up.
Along with water, dogs with Parvo also lose plenty of electrolytes, which are electrically charged minerals involved in many essential processes inside the body. For that reason, electrolyte supplementation is an important part of the treatment process. Unflavored Pedialyte, despite it being made for children, works really well and is readily available in pharmacies and grocery stores.
Aside from dehydration, malnourishment is also a common cause of death in dogs with Parvo. Since the disease causes dogs to feel nauseous all the time, they usually become a lot less enthusiastic about their meals. However, dogs need to receive nutrients to make a full recovery.
To encourage your dog to eat, feed them bland, easily digestible foods, like boiled white rice and boiled chicken breast (without the skin). Other options include plain oatmeal (no sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, flavors, and other additives), boiled potatoes or sweet potatoes, and boiled, unseasoned ground beef. To find out more about these foods and why they’re great for dogs with Parvo, check out this article!
Depending on how you want to go about the treatment process, you may want to consider talking to your veterinarian about medications that could help improve your condition, as well as alleviate their discomfort. Believe it or not, but the odds of your dog making a full recovery increases by 85% simply by adding two medications to your at home treatment plan—maropitant and cefovecin.
Maropitant, sold under the brand name Cerenia, is an anti-nausea medication that works to prevent the incidence of vomiting and help dogs gain their appetite back. On the other hand, cefovecin, sold under the brand name Convenia, is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that ensures your dog doesn’t develop secondary diseases and infections throughout their recovery period. Do note that both medications need a prescription from a veterinarian.
To know more about both medications and how to administer them at home, you can read this article.
Once you decide to treat your dog at home, you have to understand that you’ll need to be with them at all times. At-home treatments aren’t for those with busy schedules, since around-the-clock care and monitoring is crucial.
Throughout your dog’s recovery, note any changes—no matter how small. They’ll help you gauge your dog’s health status and see whether they’re recovering or actually getting worse.
If your dog is starting to drink or eat on their own again, or maybe even reverting back to their old quirky ways, then they’re most likely recovering. However, if some symptoms seem to be worsening, then it’s best to bring your dog to the animal clinic right away.