New Reduced Cost Parvo Treatment Protocol Announced

Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital has announced a new protocol for treating parvo puppies at home at a greatly reduced cost. This will be welcome news for owners, rescuers and shelter directors who want to save the lives of sick pets but in some cases are unable to pay for the hospitalization costs at the veterinary clinic. The treatment was tested in a recent study of 40 parvo pups which found similar survival rates between puppies who underwent veterinary hospitalization and those treated at home.  Continual care is required during the home treatment, just as it is for the in-hospital treatment:

The treatment relies on two drugs recently released by Pfizer Animal Health (which funded the CSU parvovirus study): Maropitant, a strong anti-nausea medication given under the skin once a day; and Convenia, an antibiotic given under the skin once, and lasting two weeks; as well as administration of fluids under the skin three times daily.

CSU estimates the costs per puppy for in-hospital treatment of parvo at $1500 – $3000 while the home treatment is in the $250 range.

Parvo used to be considered a death sentence for puppies and many shelters automatically killed any pup suspected of having the disease or even having been exposed to it.  Widespread vaccination has helped to reduce the number of cases, even in shelter environments. And with advances in veterinary medicine, parvo is now considered a treatable illness with an excellent survival rate.

Sadly there are still too many shelter directors who continue in 1970s mode – offering neither routine vaccination upon impound nor treatment for dogs who get sick with parvo.  Mass killings in the face of outbreaks still occur in shelters around the country, even though the practice is inconsistent with current science.  This new reduced cost parvo protocol from CSU is yet another proven alternative to killing.  As more and more of these alternatives continue to develop, shelter directors still clinging to old-think will eventually be forced to either change or get out of the way.

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)

11 thoughts on “New Reduced Cost Parvo Treatment Protocol Announced

  1. I don’t do puppies (or kittens – shhh, don’t tell the kittens upstairs!), but I keep Parvaid on hand at all times, just in case. It came in handy when a fellow local rawfeeder’s puppy came down with parvo after doing a photo shoot at a vet’s office (and we were able to get it to them quickly). I don’t know how it would stack up against hospitalization treatment, but I know lots of folks cannot afford the hospitalization route and treat at home out of necessity. When you’re talking a whole litter of pups, those costs escalate frighteningly fast.

    No commercial interest in Parvaid, btw. It’s just part of my first aid supplies.

    I’m glad that CSU is investigating less expensive alternatives. I just wish that more shelters didn’t see parvo as a cause to slash and burn, killing everything in the building “out of precaution to protect the public”.

  2. I’m told (when I emailed this news to a vet friend) this isn’t new. Response? Jacqueline O’Connor POB 2552 Sierra Vista, AZ 85636 (520) 335-2499 The greatest menace to freedom is inert people. (Louis Brandeis, 1927) No one loves armed missionaries. (Maximilien Robespierre) If the good people don’t go into politics, the scoundrels surely will. (Judge Levi S. Udall). Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. (Bradley Manning, 8/21/13)


    1. The announcement is undated. It’s new information for me but I am pleased to know it’s not to your vet friend. Did your friend know when it was announced?

  3. I know I treated my puppy at home 25 years ago. We went to the vet and he showed me how to give a shot and we took all the stuff we needed with us but I live in Canada. Lifter lived a long happy life!

  4. Well, thats good that its much cheaper then doing it at home, especially for rescues (most lay people dont know this is available at home for their own pet). But as mentioned above, most shelters go on killing anyways.

  5. Austin Pets Alive has foster homes for distemper and parvo dogs! They have saved many. So it is not new, although perhaps the study was.

  6. Parvo is a virus & it weakens the immune system making them more susceptible to bacterial infections as well; therefore the precautionary antibiotics.
    Hospitalization is the ideal treatment, but Sq fluids, antibiotics & anti-emetics are a good alternative. You just have to be aggressive in your treatment!

  7. the problem still is that you need a progressive vet, and if you are a shelter, rescue or have more than one dog you will have to take each dog to the vet for a Parvo test, exam and the meds so by then you are already into the vet clinic for hundreds of dollars. UNLESS you have a kind hearted vet that can donate his time and comes to your clinic or rescue. BTW these drugs may not be new the the protocol is.

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