Notes about fighting parvovirus

I received these notes about treating parvovirus from J.D. Ward at the Rescue Ranch Sanctuary recently. Although most of what we deal with on this website is distemper, parvo is also a common enemy of shelter dogs and rescues. For more information or tips, please go to the Rescue Ranch Sanctuary.

We’ve given (NDV) serum to parvo dogs just in case–at least two injections, especially if coming from a shelter.
I have found that Amoxicillin four times a day and Tamiflu are very important.  Baytril with the Amoxicillin (given at same time) then a mixture of Tylan with Pectolyn as a precaution. Tylan can be ordered without a prescription online. Most vets have it. Pectolyn is a pink thick base to coat intestines.  These are two oral antibiotics at regular weight dosing.  Administer medications at least four days, but usually seven days to make sure the dog is recovered.
For fluids, you can use Pedialyte syringed every 1.5 hours around the clock. Low salt or no salt chicken broth is another option.
Recommended diet:
Boil 70% white potatoes to 30% skinless chicken for at least an hour.
Cut up solids into small pieces and cover with some broth.
After cooled, offer to dog, even if you have to hand-feed each piece.
Offer each time before syringing fluids.
Feed small meals, five times a day to avoid major diarrhea.
NOTE: The dirt/yard and the inside area where the animal poops has to be cleaned with a 1-to-30 bleach-to-water solution. Leave wet for at least five minutes each time.  Remove animal before cleaning so it doesn’t inhale the fumes.  Once dry, it is safe to put animal back.
From Dr. Alson Sears
Parvo in dogs is very easy to treat.  You need to get them before they are moribund.   Weigh the dog in pounds.   Give IV fluids — 100 cc per lb per day plus the estimated amount of fluid lost in vomiting and diarrhea.  Must be IV.  Lots.  Keep it going.   Then do a white blood cell count [WBC].   This is a good estimate of survival.  If the WBC falls below 6,000, the dog is in trouble.  If it falls below 2,000, death is imminent in spite of all.Now you need antibiotics.  Again I like Pen-G and Baytril.  In this case Baytril and not Chloromycetin because you are only going to be treating for a very short period of time.  4 days maybe.

Then you need to sterilize the gut.  I  really liked Pectolyn/Tylan in large doses.  5 to 10  cc  per 10 pounds three time daily. (15 grams Tylan powder to 8 oz of pecto). Then the magic of medicine.


Note from J.D. Ward: You can make Tamiflu sugar suspension using capsules or have your vet call in Tamiflu suspension for small dogs.  75 lbs can take a capsule/capsules come in sets of ten usually for $100 or so.  So, for instance, if you have a 75 mg capsule of Tamiflu, mix 25 ml water and 12.5 ml clear Karo syrup then mix in the capsule powder.  Each ML will give 2 ml of Tamiflu so a 10 lb dog would need 5 mls of the mix; a 20 lb dog would need 10 mls. Keep in refrigerator and swirl each time to mix suspension up again then draw dose.  After seven days, throw out leftovers–even if made by pharmacy–so don’t make up too much at one time.  (Tamiflu powder is very, very bitter so the Karo sugar syrup makes it easier to consume but expect a little resistance. If suspension is ordered through the pharmacy, you can ask for chicken or beef flavoring to be added.)
Usually you can stop the worst symptoms in about 48 hours.    I would treat these cases for 4 days anyway.   Home on antibiotics and Pectolyn/Tylan for at least 1 week.The antibody to gm negative serum  which is pushed is useless.  Serum from recovered dogs does NOT work.  NDV induced serum is totally useless at any amount.  There are other techniques I have heard about mostly Holistic and useless in the treating of this disease.   My other wonder about this disease is that a dog place in a kennel with Parvo does not seem to pass this virus on to other animals as a fomite.* Need to have access to the stool.

All variations on the parvovirus respond to the above treatment.

The problem out in the field now is that there is a new parvoParvo 2C.  Most vaccines only cover for Parvo 2A and 2B.

Fluids (see above)
Antibiotics (see above)
Pecto/Tylan (see above)
Tamiflu (see above)
WBC check once or twice daily
Keep clean and bathed as necessary

— Thanks again to J.D. Ward and the Rescue Ranch Sanctuary for sharing this information.
Ed Bond
*According to Wikipedia, a formite is any object or substance capable of carrying infectious organisms, such as germs or parasites, and hence transferring them from one individual to another. Skin cells, hair, clothing, and bedding are common hospital sources of contamination. So, this is NOT how parvovirus is spread.