New Parvo Treatment Allows Puppy Owners to Beat Parvo at Home
Parvo is probably every puppy owner’s worst nightmare, and rightly so. It’s a highly contagious, often deadly viral disease that can take a puppy’s life within 48 to 72 hours (2 to 3 days). For that exact reason, ever since the discovery of the virus in the late 1970s, veterinary researchers and professionals wasted no time in studying the illness and coming up with an effective treatment plan. Although there’s currently no specific cure for it, we now have an in-clinic regimen known as supportive care.
Supportive care involves around-the-clock monitoring and the administration of IV fluids, electrolytes, antibiotics, and anti-nausea medications. It’s an incredibly effective process. In fact, puppies that receive timely supportive care have a 90% chance of survival. Amazing, right? However, as good as it is at helping sick pups beat Parvo, it’s quite costly, and unfortunately, not all puppy owners can afford it. The good news is, there’s a new alternative Parvo treatment that’s a lot more affordable and has a very promising survival rate of 85%.
What’s the New Alternative Parvo Treatment?
Since standard supportive care costs around $3000 to $5000 and a lot of puppy owners simply don’t have that kind of money, most of them are left with the only other option: euthanasia. Fortunately, a study conducted by the Colorado State University Veterinary School ended in the discovery of an alternative Parvo treatment regimen that non-veterinarians, like puppy owners, shelters, fosters, and rescues, can do themselves. It involves two types of medications: the antibiotic cefovecin (Convenia), and the anti-nausea medication maropitant (Cerenia)—both of which are from the drug company Pfizer.
How Is the New Alternative Parvo Treatment Done?
With the new alternative Parvo treatment, puppy owners will need to subcutaneously inject cefovecin once and subcutaneously inject maropitant daily. They’ll also need to subcutaneously administer an electrolyte fluid solution three times a day. The word “subcutaneously” may sound intimidating at first, but giving medications subcutaneously is fairly easy to do. As long as you’re eager to learn, you’ll be a pro at it in no time.
If you’re interested in learning how to give a subcutaneous injection, your veterinarian will be more than happy to show you the ropes, but to give you an idea, here’s the step-by-step process from Vetstreet.com:
Step 1: Load the medication into the syringe and place it somewhere near you.
Step 2: Find an area with loose skin. Typically, subcutaneous injections in dogs are given at the back of the neck or between the shoulder blades.
Step 3: Gently pinch the skin and pull it upward.
Step 4: Hold the syringe with your other hand. Make sure not to position your thumb over the plunger in case your dog moves or pushes you.
Step 5: Angle the syringe at about 30 to 45 degrees and carefully insert the needle into the fold of skin between your thumb and index finger.
Step 6: Once the needle is position underneath the skin, administer the medication.
Step 7: Pull back the needle and gently massage the injection site.
Which Puppies Are Qualified for Outpatient Treatment?
According to Dr. Lauren Sullivan of the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, the outpatient Parvo treatment may not work for puppies that already have a severely compromised immune system or those of a smaller breed, which, she says in Whole Dog Journal, “are less able to maintain cardiac stability and blood sugar levels”. Adult dogs or puppies that are over 6 months and weigh at least 3 pounds are more likely to have favorable results. Additionally, since the treatment protocol requires pet parents to monitor their pups regularly, it’s not recommended for those that have a busy schedule and can’t spend the majority of their hours looking after their pet.
Veterinarians have already been informed about the new treatment and the complete regimen is available online for them to access should an interested dog owner who can’t afford standard supportive care take interest in it. The estimated cost for the entire treatment is around $400, which is significantly less than the in-clinic option. However, it still hasn’t undergone peer review and official journal publication.
If you’re considering the treatment for your pup, you can talk to your veterinarian about it. They’ll teach you everything you need to know and give you instructions on how to administer medications correctly. As you go through the process, it’s very important that you keep your veterinarian up-to-date on your puppy’s progress. You may also need to go in for a follow-up checkup after a month or two to make sure your pooch is 100% Parvo-free.