I do not claim to be a veterinarian and I certainly do not claim to be able to give medical advice. Nor do I claim that the steps contained herein will guarantee that the pup will live through parvovirus, even if they are followed exactly. All I claim is that I have used these methods on my own dogs to treat this disease, and I have only lost one pup – the first pup I bred who came down with parvo, to which I did not administer these procedures. This information is given solely as an alternative for those people who either cannot afford veterinary care for their pup(s) and/or who do not have access to veterinary facilities. By reading or utilizing this information, the reader agrees to waive any and all rights, claims, causes of actions, or any other allegations of injury, property damage, and/or emotional distress against Vise Grip Kennels and/or its owner, affiliated entities, associates, partners, etc. Further, the reader/user of this information agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Vise Grip Kennels, and or/any of its owners, affiliated entities, associated, partners, etc., against any and all such rights, claims, causes of action, or any other allegations of injury, property damage, and/or emotional distress against Vise Grip Kennels, etc. The purchaser of this information agree to use this information at his or her own risk to his or her own pup(s) dog(s), with the full and total understanding that parvovirus is a lethal disease which can and will kill some puppies (dogs) irrespective of what kind of treatment the pup (dog) receives, or from whom. By reading, and/or using the material contained herein, the purchaser, reader, or user of this information fully understanding the above and again agrees to utilize this information AT HIS OR HER OWN RISK TO HIS OR HER OWN PET.
How Do You Tell If It’s Parvovirus?
SIGNS TO LOOK FOR:
If your puppy starts looking depressed, or appears listless, you should immediately become concerned, as these are the first signs of parvo (and any number of other similar diseases). It may be nothing and it may go away – or, it may not. The next stage of parvo is your puppy refuses to eat. Puppies will still continue to drink water, so don’t be fooled by this. Soon after the puppy refuses to eat, it will begin to vomit – and vomit. After this the diarrhea comes, which is oftentimes bloody. If you let your puppy’s symptoms get this far, the chances of saving it are slim. Most people wait and wait, until it is too late to save the pup. You cannot wait for vomiting and diarrhea to occur before you decide to act. If you value the life of your pup, you must act before these stages occur.
WHEN TO ACT:
If your puppy refuses to eat at its normal time, and it seems depressed, immediately take it to the vet for a microscopic analysis for the following four (4) conditions: coccidiosis, giardia, coronavirus, and parvovirus. It is better to spend $50 on a false alarm – than to have to bury your pup out of laziness and negligence. It is essential to have your pup checked out for all four of these potential diseases. ALL of these conditions have the same symptoms, but the first two are protozoan infections which can be treated with medication [ask your vet about the kinds of medication for each, and then refer to my “Save Money” information on how to get it cheaper]. The first two infections are not usually as severe as the other two (viral) infections because they can be treated with medication, whereas the viral infections cannot. ALL of these conditions can be further alleviated by the following steps: (Take these steps only if you cannot afford competent veterinary care. By the way, if your vet is more interested in how he or she will get paid, than in saving your pup’s life, then I suggest you go to a real vet.)
STEPS TO TAKE:
• If you have confirmed that your puppy has one (or more) of these diseases, you must keep the pup indoors at all times – and I would recommend that it be the bathroom or the kitchen, as most likely the floors are tiled or made of linoleum – and, since your puppy will be vomiting and defecating profusely, you want to be able to clean it quickly and completely. Yes, it will be smelly and disgusting, but the smell will go away – death, however, will not – so clarify your values. If your puppy has parvo, and you leave it outside, especially at night when it cools down, I assure you it will die.
• Once you’ve found the appropriate spot in the house in which to keep the pup, make sure that the temperature is comfortable: not too cool nor too warm – comfortable. It is then imperative that you obtain the following supplies:
• At least 4 Bags of Lactated Ringers (IV fluids) plus the catheter set ups and needles. YOU WILL NOT BE RUNNING THESE FLUIDS IN YOUR DOG IV (INTRAVENEOUSLY), BUT SUB-Q [SUBCUTANEOUSLY (UNDER THE SKIN)]. a) Ask your vet to provide you with the ringers. If your vet will not, he is a money-grubber, and I would advise you to go to another vet. In fact, I would clearly establish with your vet whether or not he or she would provide you with such supplies before it ever becomes necessary. Don’t wait until there is a life-threatening emergency before you find out that your vet won’t help you. When you first get your pup ask your vet straight-up “If my dog ever caught parvo, and I couldn’t afford the treatment, would you supply me with fluids?” If your vet says no, find a new vet. If you can get the ringers, try to keep a supply on hand before such an emergency. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” b) If you are in an emergency situation, or if you can’t find a vet who will say “Yes” to the above question, ask yourself if you know anyone in the nursing or medical profession, either as suppliers or as administrators. Try to get the fluids in this way. But you need to get the fluids.
• The next step is to get 4 Bottles of Pedialyte. You can obtain this at any supermarket or drugstore. Pedialyte is a fluid/electrolyte replacement drink for babies who have had chronic diarrhea and vomiting, and it is absolutely essential to the recovery of your pup. This is another good item always to have on hand.
• Get a Bottle of Immodium AD, or any other anti-diarrhea medication.
• Get an anti-nausea medication.
• Get a Bottle of Injectable Penicillin. You can get this at a feed store or order through a catalogue [see my Save Money Tips]. You should always have a bottle of penicillin on hand.
• Get a 5cc or a 10 cc syringe. Always have these on hand.
• Get a box of 100 3cc syringes. Always have these on hand.
• Buy a box of 100, 1″ long, 22 gauge Needles. Always have these on hand.
• Buy some cotton balls (or gauze pads).
• Buy a bottle of Betadine, or some other topical disinfectant.
• Buy some Nutri-Cal, or some other calorie-replacement supplement at your pet or feed store.
• Buy some White Rice.
• Buy (or make) some Chicken Broth.
HOW TO USE THIS STUFF
• Immediately administer about 50 ccs of Ringers, per 10 lb. of body weight, subcutaneously (under the skin) of your pup. DO THIS EVERY TWO HOURS UNTIL YOUR PUP IS BETTER. Make sure the Ringers are body temperature. You do not want either to chill, or to overheat, your pup. Remember: BODY TEMPERATURE!
• Make sure you have installed the catheter to the bag of fluids properly, and that all of the air bubbles have been washed out of the tubing. Give it a test to see if it works. When you’re sure it does, use a cotton ball and some Betadine to disinfect the puppy’s skin, and then insert the needle you’ve placed at the end of the catheter tube under the puppy’s skin. [You do not stick the needle directly into the puppy’s back, or stick it in his spine. You simply lift the puppy’s skin with the fingers of one hand, and then gently push the needle just under the surface of the skin with the other at an angle]. Start at the base of your puppy’s neck, to the left of the spine, and administer the appropriate amount of fluids into your pup by releasing the valve on the catheter at full tilt. When the appropriate amount of fluids has gone into your pup, withdraw the needle and again disinfect the skin – and also pinch the hole left by the needle for a few seconds so the fluids don’t run back out of the pup. (There will be a large swelling under the puppy’s skin which will be about gone, absorbed into the pup, by the time the two hours are up, and his next administration is due.) [Remember to insert the needle subcutaneously (or sub-q for short)]. NOTE: If your puppy has been vomiting and or has had profuse diarrhea prior to his first administration of fluids, give him twice the recommended amount on his first dose, and then go back to the recommended amount for his next dose two hours later. IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS UNDERSTANDING ANY OF THIS, CONSULT A VETERINARIAN FOR ADVICE BEFORE YOU WORK ON YOUR PUP.
• Continue to give your pup the recommended dose, every two hours, until your puppy has recovered. With each administration of fluids, you should insert the needle about an inch lower than where you put it in the last time, but on the other side of the spine, alternating sides with each dosage – until you get close to being 3 inches from the puppy’s tail. On the next dosage, go back up to the level of the base of your puppy’s neck, but start on the opposite side of the spine from where you first began. Follow this same procedure, every two hours, until your puppy is better. Again, each dosage is under the skin.
• After you administer the first dose of ringers, it is time to use the Pedialyte. Take your 5 or 10 cc syringe (no needle, just the syringe) and withdraw pedialyte into it. You want to give the pup 5ccs of Pedialyte, per 10 lb. of body weight, every 2 hr., orally (in his mouth) right after you run the fluids under his skin. Sit the puppy down between your legs, with his back to you, and then tilt his head back so he’s looking up. Put the syringe in his mouth (again, without a needle) and gradually disperse the appropriate amount of Pedialyte, until it’s swallowed. Be careful of gagging or choking the pup. If your puppy vomits the Pedialyte back out, withdraw some more out of the bottle and put some more right back in the pup’s mouth, until he keeps the proper amount down. Yes it can be messy, but it is absolutely essential to his life that he retain fluids. Sometimes you can just pour Pedialyte into a bowl and let the pup lap it up to his heart’s content. Remember, if he throws it up, he doesn’t have it in him, so you’ve got to withdraw more and put it back, until he keeps it down. Do this every two hours until your pup is better.
• Give your pup ½ cc of Nutri-Cal (per 10 lb. of body weight), orally, every two hours after his dose of Pedialyte. This will give your pup some rich nutrients that, believe me, he really is going to need.
• Give your pup ¼ cc of Immodium AD anti-diarrhea orally, per 10 lb. of body weight (using a 3cc syringe without a needle), every other two hours, right after you’ve given him his oral dose of Nutri-Cal. Again, if he throws it up, put it back in. Sometimes, however, this can irritate the dog’s stomach. If you notice your pup keeps down the Pedialyte, but vomits right after you give him the Immodium AD, then you should probably forget about using the Immodium. It is much more critical that your dog get the fluids and nutrients, so if your dog reacts to the Immodium (or Pepto Bismol, or whatever), stop using it.
• Give your pup ¼ cc anti-nausea medication, right after, and in exactly the same way, as with the above. Again, if your pup seems to be reacting to this too, forget about using it, and just concentrate on the fluids – the fluids are the most important part.
• Give your pup a shot of penicillin. ONLY GIVE THIS SHOT EVERY OTHER DAY. Use your 3 cc syringe, with the 1″, 22-gauge needle, and withdraw ½ cc of penicillin into the syringe (for every 10 lb. of body weight). Point the needle upwards and flick your finger against the syringe so that all of the air bubbles go to the top. Depress the plunger of the syringe, with the needle still pointed upward, until all of the air has been removed. Then deliver an intra-muscular injection. To do this, disinfect the skin of the meaty portion of one of the pup’s rear legs, and insert the needle just to the rear of the center of the meatiest part. (There is a large nerve that runs down the centerline, and you want to avoid damaging this nerve – ASK YOUR VET IF YOU ARE UNSURE AS TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING). Push the needle in about half-way and depress the plunger all the way to deliver the penicillin. The penicillin does not harm the parvovirus (or corona, coccidia, or whatever). What it does is prevent secondary infection. Again, only give the penicillin every other day, and switch back and forth between each of the pup’s rear legs, with each injection, to allow healing. Vigorously rub a cotton ball with disinfectant over the injection site when you’re done with each injection.
• Mix the cooked white rice with a little chicken broth and see if your pup will eat it. If he doesn’t eat it, throw the rice away and make a new batch six hours later, and try again. Keep trying every six hours until the pup begins to nibble at it. NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR PUP UNTIL IT EITHER DIES OR EATS. KEEP TRYING AND DON’T LOSE HOPE. SPEAK KINDLY AND LOVINGLY TO YOUR PUP, AND STAY WITH HIM AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE TO GIVE HIM MORAL SUPPORT. [Remember when you were a child, how much better it felt to have your parent(s) close to you when you were sick? Your puppy’s spirits are raised too when you’re around to comfort him. NEVER underestimate the power of LOVE in healing the very sick…]
• IF YOUR PUP BEGINS TO EAT YOU’VE MADE IT. Do not feed your pup his regular meal at this point, as his stomach lining is much too sensitive to tolerate it, but you can add some Nutri-Cal to the rice and chicken broth. Feeding the pup rice will do two things: 1) it will give him some nutrition, and 2) it will begin to firm-up his stool. As the pup’s stool begins to firm up, you can begin to add some of his regular kibble to the rice after about two days, gradually increasing the amount of kibble, until his stool is completely firm again, and his rice is completely replaced by his regular food.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
If your pup dies, and you did all of the above, please understand that even under 24 hr. veterinary care, pups still have a high mortality rate with parvovirus, and reassure yourself that you did everything you possibly could. In fact, many vets will tell you that a pup has a much greater chance of survival staying at home, with this kind of treatment, because of the supportive care, and familiar surroundings, that only his home could offer. There are certain things such as jugular IV fluid therapy, and plasma transfusions, which of course you are not set up to perform at home – but remember, this advice is for those who cannot afford to take their pup to a vet.
I invite you to show this advice to your vet and have him clarify, explain, or amend any of these steps until you feel comfortable with all of the procedures. Parvovirus, etc. is serious business, and the better you understand these procedures, and the quicker you act on implementing them when you see the first signs of parvo, the better chance your pup has of pulling through this critical disease. These are important lessons to learn. I hope you never experience parvovirus with any of your dogs; it’s a terrible disease. But, if you do, I hope this article will assist you in saving the life of your beloved pup. If not, you can be assured you did everything in your power for your pup. Good luck – and if your pup makes it, congratulations!