Questions & Answers

Can a dog recover from Parvovirus?

Q: I am watching my brother’s dog while he is in college. Three days ago she was very lethargic, vomiting (seemed like mucus), and refuse to eat or drink anything. I found this kind of strange because I have another whom was acting his usual self. I had my brother come home to take her to his vet and he was told that she had Parvo. Due to his lack of funds he was unable to afford treatment and decided to take her home to be with him for how ever long she had left. When he brought her home a family friend gave her a a distemper and pravo vaccine, focus some pedialyte, and gave her a enema to flush her system. About half way through the following day she showed glimpses of her playful self and started to eat and drink a little. The following day she was back to her normal self with the exception of the diarrhea (no signs of any blood). She is eating and playing with no problems. Would it be safe to say that she may recover from pravo.

A: Thank you for your question.

It is very unlikely that your dog would recover from parvovirus without medical treatment.  Parvo is a virus that attacks the lining of the intestine of puppies and they become very ill as a result of dehydration, protein loss, and bacterial infection.  Many other syndromes can mimic parvovirus infection including bacterial infections, parasite infections, foreign body ingestion, and dietary indiscretion (eating a toxin or other abnormal food item resulting in gastrointestinal upset).

Parvovirus is completely preventable with vaccinations.  All puppies should be vaccinated for this disease (as well as others including distemper and adenovirus)by a veterinarian starting at 6 weeks of ages.  The vaccines are repeated every 3 weeks until the puppy is at least 16 weeks of age.  Routine fecal testing and deworming are advised for the health of your pet as well as to prevent parasite transmission to people.

I would strongly advise you to have your pet re-evaluated by a veterinarian in order to determine optimum care for this incident and to prevent problems in the future.  You may call us at 813 973 8566 so we can help you further.

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