My lovely Great Dane/mastiff/staghound 6mth female pup came down with the first symptoms of parvo on Tuesday evening. She refused to eat her dinner, which is very uncharacteristic for such a afst growing pup. since 7.5 weeks only she has only eaten a raw diet, which is helpful in the prevention of parvo. This was unintentional on my part, as a raw diet of meat, bones and animal parts is a normal doet for a canine. However, she still caught the virus. Tuesday morning she still refused to eat and was starting to show signs of lethargy. She still refused to eat Wednesday and the debate about a vet visit started. We monitored her closely, as any abnormal behaviour in an animal can be indicative of illness. By Thursday she was vomiting. Most days she consumes vast amounts of water and likes to remain cool. thursday evening she was depressed, lethargic, the sexondary membrane of her eye was inflamed, showing very red all around the eyes and she was standing still in her pool of water. It was too late for the vet by this stage. We spent the night watching her, she continued vomiting showing the first signs of threatening dehydration.
Friday morning we rushed to the vet with her, didn't even call first. Luckily we have been attending the same vet clinic with all of our animals for nearly 15 years. They brought her in immediately after a brief history was taken by the vet nurse. My little girl had a temp of 39.4 degrees C, she weighed in at 24.4 kgs and had lost most of the lovely condition she had previously. Large puppies lose weight very quickly. The vet admitted her immediately for IV fluids and anitbiotics, anti nausea medication and medication for diarrhoea. The vet let me know that especially heading into the weekend, I was looking at a cost of thousands. Which I most certainly can't afford.
She spent on night at the vets and this morning, Saturday, I picked her up. The vets were not particularly supportive in our decision to bring her home. During the night she had started having bloody projectile diarrhoea.
In preparation for bring her home we bought some essential supplies, as we had never had to deal with parvovirus before.
~ puppy training pads to contain the expected mess.
~apple cider vinegar for disinfecting and for treatment.
~aloe Vera juice for nutrients
~large syringes for subcutaneous saline injections for hydration, this is vastly important as most oral liquid will be vomited and cause a chain reaction of further dehydration
~subcutaneous needles from the vet, as the pharmacy required a prescription
~saline solution from the pharmacy for subcutaneous injections
~rectal thermometer from pharmacy
~plastic drop sheeting in a roll from the hardware store, protection for furniture and walls. I'm damn serious about the mess.
Luckily for me I'm visiting my parents and my father is a homeopath. After checking her behaviour, symptoms and response to stimuli he determined to use Absinicum Album 1M. I had already as a precaution given her 2 homeopathics as first aid, these were:
~virus and bacteria
Once we got her home, she pooped blood and vomited bile, which is an amber colour, at 10:30am. we gave her as many subcutaneous saline injections in the next 5 hours that we could without causing too much stress. I monitored her closely, I doused her with Absinicum album roughly every 30-60min. I cut back on the nux vomica and only used it when she was excessively drooling or was clearly nauseous. I mixed a splash of apple cider vinegar with about 1/3 aloe Vera juice and 2/3 water. I've been using the large syringe to force feed her roughly 15-20ml of liquid every 15-30, unless she was sleeping.
By 5:30pm this evening, Saturday, she can move about on her own and started hovering near the door to the room we'd isolated her in. I carried her out to a section of lawn that's separate from our other animals. She had 2 bouts of bloody diarrhoea and urinated twice, her urine was not overly yellow, indicating that she was hydrated enough that her kidneys were not suffering overly. I carried her back inside and continued the above treatment. However, her temperature climbed to 40 degrees C. Her eyes became bloody again and were weeping. I gave her virus and bacteria homeopathic whenever her eyes became red. I wet down her paws and forelegs to cool her fever and drain the heat from her head.
By 10:30 her paws are cool, her tummy is pleasantly warm and no longer blisteringly hot, her eyes are not red. She's been out to toilet again and only had one bout of diarrhoea and urinated once. Tolerated 3 sal injections, and has held down liquids for 3-4 hours at a time.
We're not out of the woods yet, but she can walk, and is not incontinent. Is cranky about her injection and will get up and have a weak tantrum about the entire affair. Things are looking good. My partner is taking the night shift, as he is much more confident with giving the injections, especially on his own. He'll wake me in case of anything he doesn't know how to deal with. Fingers crossed my angel continues making such progress.
The simple instructions I've left my partner are as follows:
1. If she's drooling give her nux vomica
2. If her eyes are going red give her virus and bacteria
3. Every 2-3 hrs give her Absinicum album, especially if she's has a bout of bloody diarrhoea
4. No more than 50ml of liquid per 30-60 min, less if vomiting is frequent, don't let her drink too much herself even if she wants to. Slow and steady wins the race.
5. Only check her temp if she feels overly hot
6. Don't wake her if she's sleeping properly
7. Do wake her if shes gone for more than an hour without a saline injection.
No treatment is really a guarantee with parvovirus, but I have seen a dramatic improvement in less than 24 hrs. Bear in mind that homeopathics may often initial present with a strong reaction, maybe an increase in temp, don't panic, ride it out. Hold off on the homeopathic until the signs are there that it's required. After the second dose of Absinicum album her temp soared for about 30min. Keep hydration up is the number one priority. At one stage during the day, I noticed her shuddering when she inhaled. My father gave her another homeopathic called merc sol, the shuddering stopped within 15min. Started again about 3 hours later and stopped almost immediately after a second dose.