Parvo is caused by canine parvovirus. This virus is extremely contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with another infected dog or indirect through contact with a contaminated object (bowl of water, leash, collar, clothes). Transmission of canine parvovirus can also be done through sneezing, through objects licked by the infected dog, or contaminated feces.
The virus is also transmitted through people who have touched the infected animal and then touched another healthy dog. It is important to note that parvovirus in dogs is not transmitted to humans or other animals.
The virus affects the gastrointestinal tract of dogs, and the most affected areas are the stomach and small intestine, where it destroys cells, affects the absorption of nutrients, and disrupts the intestinal barrier. In puppies, parvovirus can affect the bone marrow and lymphopoietic tissues, and can sometimes affect heart health.
How much does parvo treatment cost?
Only one visit to the vet in order to diagnose the problem costs anywhere between $45 and $100.
In the situation in which the pravo is confirmed, there will be different tests and procedures necessary to be performed. The cost of these is $120 to $270, depending on the type of test. Usually fecal and blood work tests are required.
If your dog is going to be hospitalized, then you have to budget around $120 to $250 per day for IVs and injections. Also, during this period the vet will run blood transfusion and an electrolyte IV. The average time for hospitalization is around 14 days.
There is a wide range of prices for dog owners depending on how sick their pet becomes and whether or not additional hospitalization will be needed. Many people can expect it to cost upwards of $850 to $2,400 but this could easily go up if you’re dealing with more severe cases or prolonged stays at the vet’s office. However, if you bring your pet to the vet within 48 hours the first symptoms appeared it will be much cheaper than when they are late coming in.
One of the most common ways to treat Parvovirus is by using medicines. For example, Parvaid helps soothe and heal your dog’s digestive system while also stimulating appetite with its calming effects on the nervous system. There are many different stores that sell these types of medications ranging in price from about $38 to $47.
A DogForums.com member said that he paid up to $1,110 for the complete treatment and it took 10 days.
Parvo treatment details
The total cost of your hospitalization, anti-nausea medication, and IV fluids should be included in the quote you were given above.
Because the disease is actually a viral infection, there is no real antidote to it, and treatment focuses on curing the symptoms and preventing bacterial infections. It is recommended that it be done in a hospital environment, under the supervision of a vet.
Intensive care is the key to recovery from parvovirus. Intravenous fluid administration is essential for maintaining a normal level of fluid in the dog’s body after he has experienced severe dehydration and diarrhea.
The medicines used can be: antibiotics and anthelmintics to fight the infection and parasites and medicines to reduce nausea, such as metoclopramide.
IVs are the main ally of parvo puppies because severe dehydration quickly leads to death. Vitamins and minerals can also be added into the IVs, that help the body fight disease and glucose to feed and energize the puppy. There is another way that IVs can tell the difference between life and death. In addition to dehydration, puppies with parvovirus suffer from hypothermia. The virus weakens the body, leaving it without the energy needed to maintain body temperature.
In some cases, if a dog is not seriously ill or if the treatment at the veterinary office is too expensive, then outpatient treatment can be tried with the help of a veterinarian.
Home treatment for parvovirus in dogs includes:
- subcutaneous fluids (fluids administered under the skin as a source of hydration);
- a special diet for digestion;
- antiemetics to stop vomiting;
- possibly antidiarrheals.
What are the extra costs?
After surgery, you will need follow-up visits with your vet. These could be as many or as few as needed depending on the complications that occur during recovery and how quickly they heal in general.
You may need to buy your dog a special diet for the month after they get parvo. The food will cost more than what you normally feed them so it’s important that this isn’t an issue financially.
Good to know
The most prone to parvovirus infection are puppies that are between six weeks and six months old. Usually, those up to six weeks old still have maternal antibodies, as long as the puppies’ mother has been previously vaccinated.
As for dog breeds, there are some in which the risk of developing this disease is higher. These are Rottweiler, Pinscher Doberman, English Springer Spaniels, Labrador Retriever, American Staffordshire Terrier, and German Shepherd Dogs.
Canine parvovirus is a dangerous disease, and the earlier it is detected, the better the chances that it will be treated correctly and that no other complications will occur. That is why it is important for the owners to identify the main symptoms and to act accordingly: diarrhea and stools with blood; vomiting, lethargy, fever, dehydration, weight loss, anorexia.
When left untreated, parvovirus has a mortality rate of approximately 90-95%. If it is identified in time and the treatment is administered, the mortality rate due to the disease decreases to 30-50%.
It is important that animals that have come in contact with the virus, even if they appear healthy, continue to receive hypericum serum. Infected dogs should be isolated from other dogs, and feces should be disposed of carefully so that no other animals can reach them.
Parvovirus is so strong that it can last in the ground for even a year, so it is crucial to decontaminate areas that could be infected. The active virus can be removed with a solution of chlorinated water. It should also be used in areas where the treated dog continues to defecate.
Canine parvovirus can be prevented by vaccination; therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that any dog receives the necessary injections at the right age.
How can I save money?
If you want to save money on veterinary bills, always visit the vet first and avoid self-treatment options. Although this may seem like a more expensive option upfront, your dog’s chances at recovery will be much higher with professional care compared to doing all of it yourself.
Financing options for veterinary care can be a bit more complicated than those offered for humans. Talk with your vet about how he or she might prefer to finance the process of getting your pet back on its feet, including possibly accepting payment plans and recommending low-cost loans from banks as well.
It may be too late for your dog if he already has the virus, but you should make sure you get him vaccinated and prevent it from spreading.
For those on a limited income, there are low-cost treatment options offered by the local rescue centers or shelters.