Author: Patricia Bratianu RN PhD RH-AHG
Parvo is a severe infection of the digestive tract. It may attack dogs of all ages but it usually infects puppies between six and twenty weeks of age. Parvo is a viral illness. Rottweilers and Dobermans are the most susceptible breeds; however, all types of dogs are susceptible.
The disease is spread by feces, and is highly contagious. Dogs with the disease should be isolated. The virus can survive for months on floors, furniture, bowls and other inanimate objects. A bleach solution should be used as a disinfectant as the virus is resistant to many other cleansers.
Immunization is available for dogs and puppies. Young puppies whose mothers have been immunized do have some protection passed on from the mother.
The incubation period is the time of exposure to the outbreak of symptoms. The average incubation period of parvo is four to five days. If a dog, especially a puppy, has an onset of vomiting and severe diarrhea, suspect parvo. A veterinarian can perform a blood test to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes hospitalization and intravenous fluids are required as dehydration may occur from extreme loss of body fluids.
Natural remedies that may help a dog heal from the virus include several homeopathic options.
Zingiber is made from the herb ginger. Ginger has been researched extensively. It reduces inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract allowing healing to occur. Zingiber also relieves nausea. Ginger is a safe, effective remedy that has been used to treat gastrointestinal illnesses for thousands of years.
Veratrum may help to relieve the high fevers associated with parvo. As fevers are reduced, dogs feel more comfortable. Veratrum also helps to calm and relieve diarrhea.
Agrimonia is another old remedy. It is one of the most astringent natural medicines available. Astringent actions help dry up watery stools and reduce fluid loss. The astringent action can also help to stop bloody stools that sometimes occur in the presence of parvo. Astringents tonify the digestive tract, helping to restore wellness and reduce inflammation.
Belladonna is used in conventional and natural medicine to reduce spasms. It enhances comfort, helps to maintain fluid balance and may reduce fever.
Arsenicum can help to restore vitality to a weakened pet.
Each of the above remedies is very safe. They have all been employed for the healing of humans and animals for many centuries, and have a proven record of success.
PetAlive makes a product called Parvo-K which contains all of these homeopathic preparations. Parvo-K would provide healing support as a dog recovers from this serious disease. Consult with your veterinarian as parvo can be a life threatening illness. With proper management, most dogs regain health.