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Parvo is a virus that infects and destroys rapidly growing cells like those in the heart and intestinal crypts. It kills the intestinal cells which causes sloughing of the intestinal lining and prevents absorption of nutrients. Infected puppies become dehydrated and malnourished and because they basically have massive trauma to their intestines, they are more at risk for secondary bacterial infection.
Untreated, parvo is around 85-90% fatal. With proper veterinary treatment this drops to about 15%. What is proper care? Being hospitalized with IV fluids for hydration, antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infection, and medications to treat diarrhea and vomiting. These puppies have no physical means to absorb nutrients anymore and so everything has to be given IV, although there are some special prescription diets that are easier for damaged GI tracts to absorb.
The only way to prevent parvo infection is vaccination against it. That is it. There is absolutely nothing else that will prevent it. The above medication is a sham and I have seen two dead puppies that were treated with it instead of proper veterinary care. Even if we pretend this has something useful in it, how is a puppy with no villi supposed to absorb it? That is why IV medications and fluids are vital. Vaccinations cost around $20.00 each with a puppy needing 4 sets total. This medication costs around $35.00. Hospitalization for parvo usually costs somewhere between $600-$1,200 depending on where you live.
Please just get your puppies vaccinated, I promise no veterinarian enjoys treating parvo patients to make money. We end up cleaning up copious amounts of bloody, foul smelling diarrhea, bathing dirty puppies, constantly monitoring them, and putting on protective equipment to stop spreading it to other patients. I would rather not see another parvo case for the rest of my career, I promise. Unfortunately this “nutraceutical” uses buzz words like organic, natural, and herbal and people flock to it and dogs suffer because of it.
(Photo from ambertech.com)