Landlord's dog has parvo

    • Gold Top Dog

    Landlord's dog has parvo

     Hey guys,

     Was wondering if I can pick your brains about some info to pass along to my landlord. Found out tonight that his dog Toby (cattle dog mix, under a year of age) has parvo. They took him in to the vet Friday morning I believe. He was 'lethargic' some on Thursday night but he'd been in the heat all day with Mr. K. Friday morning he still hadn't eaten and when Mr. K syringed some water into his mouth he urped it right back up. Figured it was parvo and sure enough it is. He's still at the vet and doing okay. The dog was a leave behind when someone moved out of one of Mr. K's rentals and he ended up keeping him. Never did his puppy shots either and presto, the dog has parvo. I think they caught it soon enough that he'll bounce back, especially since he's at the vets.

    Now, on to the questions. I know the vet is going to want to vaccinate him and since I have vaccines left over from vaccinating my puppies I offered him those in place of the 6 and 7 in ones I know the vet carries. How long should they wait once he's over the parvo to vaccinate for rabies and then for distemper/hep/etc? I'm going to tell him to wait 3 weeks at least between shots, just need an idea of how long to wait after he's well. They also have a @9 year old Doxi that they want to give a booster too. I told them doing it now won't do her any good since she's already been exposed and it takes 10-14 days for the vaccine to provide immunity. Or should they?

    I have to say I kind of freaked cause Toby was sniffing around the fenced back yard early this week and I let the girls sniff noses with him and now he's sick. They are 6 months/3 weeks old and had their shots, but they are my babies and I'm still concerned for them. I took my shoes off and held them out the window on the way home and then put them in bleach water once I got here. I'm wondering about going and getting my girls from my Mom's now. I don't want to spread the virus any more if they are infected. I was planning on staying for a week, but now I'm not so sure.

    I forget how long he'll shed the parvo virus once he's well. I'm going to suggest that they contain him somewhere so that they can bleach the ground to kill the parvo. He's a free ranging dog and I would hate for him to spread it all over the area even more. They are good people, but Mr. K probably didn't even think about doing vaccines for a dog someone left behind. I don't think Toby is all that old, maybe 9 months if that. He's a really smart dog. His eyes are so captivating. I hope the little bugger pulls through!

    I want to pass on some good info to them, but I don't want to overload them. They are your typical pet family and I want them to get a little more engaged without turning them off. Input please?! :)

    • Gold Top Dog

    It takes 9 days to incubate Parvo if I'm remembeirng properly.  So you've got some waiting ahead of you.

     If I'm reading this accurately -- DON'T vax him while he's sick.  Not at all.  And he can shed the parvo in his *** for a good while (a couple of months at least and I'm not sure on that).


    They say at least two years and I've heard longer than that.  But you can't decontaminate the yard -- it's impossible.  And it literally only takes 2-3 **cells** of parvovirus to spread it.  Just removing your shoes is a start but it will *not* protect anything.  This is why most shelter workers will change at the door of the shelter, and AGAIN change shoes before they get in their car and THEN **additionally** strip off before entering their own home.  It takes really extreme measures to keep from spreading it.

    This dog doesn't *ever* need to be vax'd for parvo.  His body will build immunity when he survives it.  But don't let them vax him until he is COMPLETELY well -- and then I'd only use the single shot -- and if you can't get the singles do nothing more than the 'core" vax of distemper/parvo/adenovirus.

    DON'T do rabies at the same time.  His immune system will be slow to build and you don't want to over stress him. 

    Some vets are going to disagree with this -- but I've seen dogs DIE from gettting vax'd while they were sick. 

    For your dogs?  They have been exposed.  I wouldn't move them further until you KNOW their incubation period is over because if you move them to your home and they come down with it this week, then YOUR yard, also, will be trashed for at least two years.

    They should have had at least one set of shots plus a booster?  IF the first set was 8 weeks or more you should be good.  If the first set was 12 weeks or later BETTER.  Because that way the maternal antibodies won't have interfered with the immunity the shots try to build. 

    Does any of this make sense?? 

    Tell your Mom to keep them quarantined -- only let them "go" in one part of the yard (altho if they've been all over it in the past few days exposure has happened).

    If they are at all open to anything alternative -- St. John's Wort is an excellent anti-viral.  Giving 2-3 capsules twice or three times a day and maybe also some L-Lysine or echinacea (as immune builders) -- would be a good idea. 

    Echinacea boosts the immune system and so does L-Lysine.  But St. John's Wort truly is a darned good anti-viral (and yeah, try taking it sometime when YOU have a cold).

    Lots a fluids -- tiny tiny meals.  Keep him eating if at all possible but FLUIDS ... big time.  Even if you have to get Pedialyte and syringe it into him.  The frozen popsicle ones seem to be really popular and may be easier to get in him. 

    You can use slippery elm bark -- you can get the ground herb in bulk at most any health store.  A big heaping teaspoon of it whisked into 1/2 c. of boiling water -- it will get gelatenous -- but putting THAT in a syringe (or mix it with plain meat baby food like beef or lamb) and syringe that into his mouth for nourishment.  Slippery elm will help soothe the gut.  It's also extremely nutritous if they don't keep anything else down.

    Chamomile tea -- brewed strong and then let it cool completely.  Add the wet herbs to the slippery elm mixture -- THEY are helpful as well as the liquid.  Anti-inflamatory -- will bring down fever and it will also help soothe the gut and fight nausea.

    But fluids fluids fluids -- that's the biggest danger with parvo -- they'll dehydrate and die.  You know how to tell if something is dehydrated?  You pull up the skin between thumb and index finger and let it go.  If it slowly s-l-i-d-e-s back they are dehydrated.  If the skin snaps back as it should they are fine.

    Sorry -- it's 3:15 and I'm not all that clear-minded.

    • Gold Top Dog

    I agree about the idea that you can't "decontaminate" with Parvo. It's really that contagious and hearty. I'm surprised any puppy in the US allowed outdoors made it till 9 months unvaxed without catching it.

     Older dogs around are going to be WAY immune to parvo. Parvo is everywhere and every exposure boosts immunity. I've asked multiple vets and techs if they've ever seen parvo in an older dog, and none have (even my vet who is 70 years old himself...although canine parvo has only existed since 1978, less than 35 years).

    • Gold Top Dog

     We adopted Grimm while he was still undergoing treatment for Parvo. Once he was symptom free and off the IV and antibiotic injections, he went on to a two week course of oral antibiotics. We didn't take him off the property for a month after he was finished with those antibiotics, as that's generally the time it's taught that they can shed the virus. During that time, we took him to one specific area of the yard for potty runs and we picked up the stool immediately and bleached the spot.

    We vaxed him after that month waiting period was over, even though he'd been symptom free for over a month. Since he was being kept at home, we didn't have a worry about him picking anything up, and we wanted him to recover fully.

    I'd probably vaccinate the other dog now, though. 

    Though it isn't surefire, I'd suggest they bleach the yard, if possible. It won't be guaranteed to kill everything, but it's better than nothing.  . 

    • Gold Top Dog

     Callie, my girls have had their complete puppy series. Started first shot at 8 weeks and waited 3 weeks in between. They are almost 7 months old now. My brain says their covered, my heart just quakes in fear for them.

    Since Toby is at the vet, I know he's getting enough fluids and that they started on antibiotics. Haven't checked with them today to see how he is. I am just worried about them letting the vet vaccinate him too soon. I told them to wait and let him get back on his feet, but we'll see if they cave to the vets advice.  

    I do appreciate all the info and I'm going to pass it along to them. I just wish Mr. K had vaccinated the poor pup, then we wouldn't be here. Thanks again!

    • Gold Top Dog

    my girls have had their complete puppy series. Started first shot at 8 weeks and waited 3 weeks in between. They are almost 7 months old now. My brain says their covered, my heart just quakes in fear for them.

    If one of your girls was a very unusual dog and retained enough of her maternal-antibodies at age 16-weeks (their last puppy shots?), there is a very small chance that she could have failed to develop immunity to parvo via the puppy series.  To put your mind at rest have them "titered".  That is a blood test that measures antibody levels. 

    You need to really understand puppy vaccination.  The first shot after the mother's antibodies wear out (usually 8-16 weeks) gives a pup immunity.  Within 2-3 weeks after that effective shot the pup has developed its own immunity. 

    Multiple shots are given only because no one known exactly when an individual pup will lose its mother's antibodies.  Puppy vaccines given after the effective shot are totally useless, but are cheaper than titers.

    Statistically your girls probably developed immunity to parvo after the first puppy shot.  After the puppy shot at 16-weeks there is a very low probability that they would be still vunerable.  After the 1-year-old shot any dog that does not have immunity probably has immune system problems. 

    If the shot that gives immunity is a MLV (modified live virus) vaccine, the dog is probably immune for life.  In fact, after a 1-year-old MLV shot, I would not ever again vaccinate for Parvo or Distemper.  Research has shown that MLV vaccines are good for at least 7 years and testing is continuing to establish longer time-lines.

    Titering every 3 years for things like Parvo and Distemper would verify retained immunity.  However, low titers do not necessarily mean anything but that the dog has not encountered those diseases lately.  A walk through a dog park prior to titering would give a much more accurate titering result. 

    • Gold Top Dog

    I am just worried about them letting the vet vaccinate him too soon. I told them to wait and let him get back on his feet, but we'll see if they cave to the vets advice.  

    You are right to be worried about vaccinating too soon.  If the pup's immunity system has not recovered sufficiently, the vaccination(s) won't work anyway.  Even the manufacturers' directions say to only give vaccines to healthy dogs.  Toby is certainly not in that category yet!!  He doesn't need to be fighting multiple diseases at the same time even if the vaccines are easier to fight than the full fledged disease. 

    The only shot I would give this pup as soon as he is well enough is distemper since that is the one he is most likely to encounter.  The rabies shot should come no sooner than 30-days after that since that one is very hard on a dog's system. 

    Rabies among the domestic dog population has been pretty well eliminated.  The threat comes from wildlife - bats, skunks, foxes, etc.

    Any vet that says "Well, it would be dangerous to my staff to handle your dog today unless he has a rabies shot right now." should be challenged.  A shot "today" is not effective "today".  Immunity takes 10-days to 3-weeks to develop (experts disagree and every dog is different). 


    (1)  When Toby is well enough (at least 30-days after the rabies shot), I would also vaccinate for adenovirus/hepatitis (one vaccine covers both), but not for corona (not needed), giardia (not effective), or lepto.  In my opinion the lepto vaccines are just too dangerous and provide limited protection anyway.  Vaccination for parainfluenza and bordetella are for three of the causes (8+) of kennel cough (doggie flu) - needed for boarding, but otherwise??  Parainfluenza is needed every 3-years and bordetella yearly - neither is MLV. 

    (2)  Look for vaccines that do not contain Thimerosal (mercury!) as a preservative. 

    (3)  Be sure that the vaccines come from single-dose vials (less chance of bacterial contamination) and that the vial label is taped into the dog's chart (in case of reactions or recalls).  Get a xerox of each new page of the dog's chart and keep in a notebook at home (for travel or for ER vet). 

    • Gold Top Dog

    I'm surprised any puppy in the US allowed outdoors made it till 9 months unvaxed without catching it.

    Some pups will develop a natural immunity if repeatedly exposed to very small amounts of parvo.  Unfortunately very small amounts of parvo are all it takes to give most pups the disease, so it is the exceptional pup who has a strong enough immune system to develop a natural immunity. 

    • Gold Top Dog

    Since Toby is at the vet, I know he's getting enough fluids and that they started on antibiotics.

    Most pups that die from parvo actually die from septicemia or severe dehydration, so the fluids are crucial!  However, Mr. K needs to understand that parvo is a virus.  Antibiotics are for secondary, bacterial infections - not for a virus.

    Vets have had a lot of success with Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) in parvo cases.
    "This medication works best early in the course of infection before the patient is already combating large amounts of virus. Remember, the goal of using oseltamivir is to minimize the amount of virus inside the patient so that the immune system will have an easier job eradicating the infected cells."

    ETA:  definition of septicemia (also called 'blood poisoning";) - the invasion and persistence of pathogenic bacteria in the blood-stream

    • Gold Top Dog

    If Mr. K has any trouble getting Toby to eat, things to consider are

    (1) slippery elm (like Callie suggested)
    (2) Nutri-Cal - high calorie nutrient paste (pet store)
    (3) green tripe - e.g. "Tripett Green Tripe Dog Food", "Solid Gold Green Tripe Canned Dog Food"
    (4) jack mackeral

    The later two stink, but dogs like that.  Stick out tongue