At Valley Animal Hospital of Merced, we save 19 out of every 20 puppies we hospitalize for Parvo-- that's a 95% success rate!

Parvo causes life threatening Dehydration

Puppies with Parvo virus often have diarrhea and vomiting. Once these poor puppies are throwing up, it is very difficult to treat them at home-- vomiting puppies often need fluids put directly into the blood stream to correct the dehydration and provide energy.


Parvo causes severe Malnutrition

Sick puppies don't eat and they quickly develop serious malnutrition after just a couple of days. At Valley Animal Hospital of Merced, we have outstanding injectable medications that treat the nausea and vomiting so that puppies feel like eating again! 


Parvo virus may lead to Bacterial Infections in the Blood Stream

There are normally a lot of bacteria living in a puppy's intestinal tract.  When that puppy is sick with Parvo, those bacteria may find their way into the blood stream and this is a potentially deadly problem.

     Parvo is a deadly virus that temporarily disrupts the inner lining of a dog’s intestine.  Without this inner lining, an infected dog cannot absorb food or water, which causes dehydration and malnutrition. Once the intestinal lining is damaged, bacteria are able to infect the blood stream.  Dehydration, malnutrition and infection in a young puppy with a naïve immune system creates a deadly combination of problems.

     Many dogs with Parvo have diarrhea and vomiting.  Every time they try to drink or eat, they get sick.  Once an infected dog is vomiting, there is no easy way to treat him at home.

     Every case of Parvo is different—depending on a variety of factors including a dog’s own immune system, how much virus he has in his system, how long he’s been sick, etc.

     Success Rates:  In the clinic, we treat Parvo very aggressively with intravenous antibiotics, anti-vomiting injections, and IV fluids. When a dog with Parvo is vomiting, it is a sign that the stomach and intestines are ‘in shock.’  Placing a dog on IV fluids is the only way to correct dehydration, give the dog energy, and treat the blood for infection.  In other words, IV fluids work well to correct most of the problems that Parvo causes.

     We save 95% of the dogs that we treat with Parvo. At home, the success rate is much, much lower. Again, once a dog is vomiting, the likelihood that you can correct his dehydration and successfully treat him at home is probably less than 15%. 

     Correcting Dehydration is the first step.  Some dogs may be treated with fluids under the skin, but the highest success rates come from treating with intravenous fluids that go directly into the blood stream.  At VAH of Merced, we perform blood work on your sick puppy to determine which type of IV fluids are right for your pet.   

Treatment Costs:  Unfortunately, Parvo virus is extremely expensive for us to treat—with several different types of injections, IV fluids, and intensive care necessary for your puppy to recover. For that reason, we offer a program called Care Credit that will not charge you any interest for several months while you make payments. (You must pass a credit check to qualify.)

Cleaning the environment:  The Parvo virus can live in the environment for at least one year, meaning that any new puppies brought into the same area can get sick from the virus (if they haven’t been properly vaccinated.)

It is critical that you clean the environment with a dilute bleach solution (1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water), with additional cleaning given to any area where the sick puppy has urinated or defecated.