Saturday, November 5, 2016

Treating My Parvo Puppy

Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. ~Corey Ford

On the day we planned to go to North Georgia for apples, sourwood honey (to die for, as honeys go), and a hike on this beautiful autumn day, our plans changed drastically because my husband spend most of the night before up with Mishka. 

Past Experience
We have had our share of pets getting sick, but none quite as frightening as when our first German Shepherd, Sasha, had Parvovirus, Parvo for short. That was in year 1997 or 1998—I am terrible with dates which is why I appreciate keeping journals and this blog so much—just a few weeks after we had gotten him. We had no experience with Parvo, did not even know much about it, but we have made a point to know a great deal about it since. You see, I was treating Sasha with a homemade homeopathic remedy for his diarrhea for a day or two, thinking that was all it was, and he was getting better, even started eating and drinking, but either I stopped too soon or I was not aggressive enough with the treatment because he relapsed. Before I knew it, he had projectile diarrhea and vomiting in the morning, and by the afternoon he could not stand up.

Parvo itself is a virus that attacks the villi of the small intestines impairing the absorption of nutrients. The body, trying to rid itself of the problem, responds with drawing all the body's fluids to the intestines to flush out the virus, but by the time symptoms are showing up, the virus has the upper hand. The virus itself rarely is the cause of death—yes, it is that serious—but rather it is the dehydration. Dogs can die within a day or two without any treatment; it is touch and go even with it.

Treatment is the key issue. Most people will pay about a $1,000 to $2,000 for the necessary vet care. That is what we did with Sasha. Actually, we had a vet that was a combination of holistic and conventional and when he told one look at Sasha he recommended for us to put him down saying he was just too far along. We asked what would be done if we had brought him in at the first signs: IV with vitamins and electrolytes, also some antibiotics that would only fight against secondary bacterial infections, not the virus itself. We asked that he get started and we told him we would be back in the morning. I prayed and look up stuff but there was very little, although I found a few mere mentions of colloidal silver and I had some experience with it for other things.

The next day I brought with me a bottle of 10 ppm colloidal silver. The vet was open to trying it (probably because he thought the dog was a goner anyway) but he said Sasha would not keep it down. I told him I understood that and I wanted it injected. He did his muscle testing as he does for homeopathics and herbal treatments. The dosage was to be 5cc three times a day, which he mentioned was a lot, but then it is only 10 parts per million (ppm) so it is mostly water. He gave Sasha the first dose while I was there that Saturday. The office was closed in the afternoon and the next day, but I got through on Sunday to one of the caretakers. Not only was Sasha still alive, but he had pulled out his IV twice that day, and they reported that he was up barking, eating, tipping over his food dish, and biting at the cage—he always hated being penned.

I went to see Sasha on Monday morning. He was energetic and ready to go home, but the vet wanted to see a stool and since there was nothing much in him that took another day. The vet's office called him the miracle puppy. Even the vet admitted he had never seen any dog recuperate from Parvo so quickly and rarely ever at all; the only thing he had done differently was the colloidal silver. I think he began to use it for all Parvo puppies after that.

Friday, November 4, 2016
Through the night Mishka had diarrhea and in the morning he threw up some food from last night that was not digested. He would not eat his breakfast, which is the first time ever, and then when he urgently had to go out he had projectile diarrhea. Thankfully, we have not seen any signs of blood from what was coming out of him, which suggests it is not as bad as it could get. Right after we had decided to get Mishka, I did more research on natural approaches to fighting Parvo, given our past experience with it, and bought a few products that had been proven to help support a Parvo puppy. Support, but not cure. Because Parvo is a virus, the body has to develop its own antibodies and it need time to do so, which is something that the acute dehydration does not allow. Mishka was given colloidal silver, a homemade homeopathic remedy, and these herbal tinctures from Amber Technology: Paxxin, Vibactra Plus, and Life Cell Support. He was also being given small amounts of Pedialyte regularly to fight the dehydration; by the afternoon, every now and then, he was drinking a little water on his own.

Mishka was penned in the kitchen, being it is not carpeted, in case of accidents. My husband, who was the one up all night, decided to sleep and the Princess helped me with the timer, logging the treatments and symptoms, administering the treatments, and getting Mishka out when he had that urgent need. The instructions read to give the supplements every fifteen minutes for the first hour and afterward every hour, but with my gift, I felt it should be for the first hour and a half. It was recommended to use Pedialyte orally if possible or as an enema if necessary.

I was confident that the colloidal silver would work again and we were able to give it to Mishka orally because he is not vomiting, possibly due to the other herbal tinctures that are meant to sooth the intestinal tract and support the immune system. It is the silver that actually lowers the viral count because it impedes the virus' ability to reproduce and slowing it down gives that time needed for the body to create its own antibodies. Mishka was rather lethargic, but his body seemed to be fighting the virus without worsening symptoms.

By evening, Mishka was obviously feeling better. He even ate half a portion of his dinner and seemed to be looking for the rest, which he was given later. He played with his toys and began to grab kitchen towels and do all kinds of bratty puppy stuff. The consistency of his stool was still just liquid, but he had not thrown up since morning.

I suppose most people would say that he did not really have Parvo because he was not as sick as he should have been. Well, that was the point, to address it early so that he would not be so sick that it would be life threatening. It could still take another day or two or more of treatment for him to have a normal stool. It could take almost as long for him to really be able to digest his food completely, absorbing all the necessary nutrients, but he seems to be doing very well on that end.

As I have said before, being empathic has its downside. Although I may not feel but a shadow of what another may feel, it is quite enough to feel rather lousy. By evening yesterday, after the day's constant influence of Mishka's condition, I was feeling pretty sick even as he was acting like he was feeling better. My husband took the night watch and I went to bed.

The First Day of Treatment
This is a general accounting of how things went. We logged everything but I am not going to bore you with all the nitty-gritty details.

First symptoms were notice on Thursday. At 11:00 a.m. Mishka vomited some undigested food from the night before and at 1:00 p.m. he had diarrhea. We did not think much of it because he was also on a natural worming program and although he had been on that for about a week without symptoms, it could have been the cause of both. However, later Mishka was up from 1:00 a.m. Friday morning having diarrhea about every two hours, becoming more runny each time.

We began the treatment on Friday at 9:00 a.m. after he vomited again and then had projectile diarrhea. The treatment for the first hour and a half was every fifteen minutes:
  • One dosage each of Paxxin, Vibactra Plus, and Life Cell Support
  • ½ tsp. of Sovereign Silver (colloidal silver 10 ppm)
  • ½ tsp. of my homemade homeopathic remedy made with my personally designed remedy maker (but there are others on the market you can find—probably not as good as mine but I used another one for years with very good results)
After the first hour and a half, we did all the above every hour and added 1½ tsp of Pedialyte every hour on the half in between the treatment times that was increased up to 5 tsp as the day progressed and because it was apparently that he really liked it after his energy began to return late afternoon. So every 30 minutes, Mishka was being given something.

In the afternoon he began urinating again for the first time since the projectile diarrhea. At around 4:00 he began looking for food and seemed hungry. We fed him half a portion of his regular meal around 4:30 and he seemed to want more but we did not want to overwhelm his digestive system. He handled it well and was more energetic.  He was given the rest of his meal at 8:15 and afterward he was playing with his noisy toys so much that I could not go to sleep for awhile. He had not vomited since the morning, but he still had runny diarrhea, although no longer projectile. He was fed another half a meal at 12:30 a.m.

Because he was doing so well and we were exhausted, we felt we could stretch out the treatments to every two hours and just put the Pedialyte in his water. If he had still been lethargic, we would have stayed with the same treatment plan we did during the day.

Saturday, November 5, 2016
My husband, who had the night watch, came to bed and it was my turn this morning. Mishka was still penned in the kitchen so he was not happy about being left alone even for those minutes. I am still dealing with some cramping and yucky tummy feelings from the Parvo empathy, but better than last night. Parvo is a weird illness, from what I felt of it; it makes the dog lethargic and very hungry but not interested in eating at the same time.

As I began my watch, Mishka acted normal, biting everything as healthy puppies do, but my husband reported he still had diarrhea during the night, although it is beginning to have more consistency. Also, Mishka felt a bit warm to me, although his paws and ears are normal temperature. I think he is still fighting the virus itself, but its symptoms, the part that can cause the deadly dehydration, seemed to be under control. I gave him a dosage of the homeopathic and I decided to go back to hourly treatments, particularly with the colloidal silver. Because of our experience with Sasha seemingly getting better just like this and then getting  seriously worse, we are planning to stay aggressive with this until we see normal stools. When I took him out before giving him half of his breakfast meal, he only urinated and did not even act like he needed to have a bowel movement. Good signs all around.

Better signs at noon! Mishka had his first solid stool! My husband is up and we plan to continue with the homeopathic when required and the silver regularly for the rest of today. Unless we see a stool change in the wrong direction, we will probably continue the other supplements possibly every 2 to 3 hours.

Mishka is now running freely about the house. In control of his bowels, but lacking in self control—like a puppy! He has his freedom and we now have ours because we have been careful to  avoid the places dogs go so he would not get Parvo—like the hike we were going to take yesterday was a concern—but now that he has had Parvo, we do not have to be so careful. I was disappointed we did not get to go on our annual autumn day trip but I am also thankful that Mishka had it while my husband was home; it was easier than trying to do everything on my own. God is very good to us!

A Special Thank You
I want to get a special thank you to Wolf Creek Ranch. It was from this website that I learn the most about treating Parvo at home and it was their experience with a number of dogs having Parvo that gave me confidence to not fear treating Parvo. It is also where I bought the tinctures necessary to support Mishka's healing process.

It is because there is so little in instructions about treating Parvo at home to be found that I have written out this blog post, so others may see how it can be done and make an informed choice to try home treatment or not. Home treatment requires, at the very least, two to three of days devotion with round the clock care. We also have only one dog, if you have more than one, you might consider doing more, like isolation, washing toys, disinfecting, etc. Personally, I think of Parvo as I do most childhood illnesses, scary but it allows the immune system to do what God made it to do and provide better immunity than shots do.

Update: Tuesday, November 8, 2016
When I wrote all the above, we thought Mishka was done, but there was a bit more to the story.

On Sunday, I was with my daughter at her Coffee Shop Piano Recital, while my husband stayed home with Mishka. We have left him home alone for about two hours but the recital is about a two-hour drive round trip and then however long it is. We had considered bringing him, as he loves trips, and one would have to watch from outside. Then we tried to get our house/pet sitter last minute, but she had other obligations. We finally decided that my husband would stay home with him, especially since he was still recovering from Parvo. (You can read about the mishaps getting to the recital and see my video of the Princess playing in the following blog post.)

My husband calls my daughter's phone (because mine was not with me—you have to read the next post) after the recital was over, and everyone had left but I was still talking to one of the mothers long after. (In my defense, she wanted some help with something her daughter is going through.) He tells me that Mishka had diarrhea again, at least one time with projectile diarrhea. My heart sank. As I wrote before, our former dog Sasha was doing well and then it came back on him worse and we nearly lost him.

So I got home and I saw Mishka for myself. He was not dehydrated. He was up to greet me and seemed energetic and his eyes were bright, but he was a little warm. My husband had already started him back on the treatments and we decided to not take any chances so I stayed up the entire night with treating him every hour, probably overkill but we were determined not to make any assumptions that it was over until we were absolutely sure. We put Pedialyte in his water as he was drinking on his own, although he probably did not really need it. He still had some diarrhea but he also was very gassy, which made me think this could mostly be compromised intestinal tract not fully able to digest food properly and it was oversensitive. However, there was a fever earlier so there likely was a weak relapse also.

My husband worked yesterday and seeing that Miskha's stool was still too soft yet improving plus he was acting anything but sick, I began stretching out his treatments to two hours and took a two hour nap between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. with the Princess keeping a watchful eye on him as he was again penned in the kitchen. Mishka was given very four small meals, about ¼ of his normal meals, two to three hours apart with digestive enzymes throughout the day. By afternoon he began having solid normal stools. We continued with treatments every two hours throughout the night and he continued having solid stools without gas.

So, this morning we are still dividing his meals giving a bit more each time, but he has been energetic and playful as a healthy puppy should be. I think he is absolute in the clear and now the rest of us just need to recuperate from sleep deprivation. So very worth it though.

I emailed Wolf Creek Ranch a link to this post and was surprised this morning that Julie and Journey responded thanking me for getting the word out on this Parvo treatment. It was very sweet of them to answer back. Although we planned to buy a bottle of each to replenish what we used, I was also told that Paxxin was originally formulated for human stomach flu and can be used for general tummy trouble also. 

Thank you, my Lord, for bring Mishka back to being a healthy, happy, lovable, (and somewhat bratty, crazy, and at times clumsy) puppy.

3 comments:

  1. Wow. Not being a dog owner I know nothing about Parvo except that it's a killer. Mishka is lucky to have you.

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  2. Thanks for commenting on my post and for writing all this up. Did you train as a homeopath or are you self-taught? I was very into homeopathy when my kids were little, but I haven't done it as much lately. I would be interested in hearing more about how you used the colloidal silver on the FIV+ cat. I wondered as I read this if the treatment might have helped the two cats we lost to FIP (feline infectious peritonitis.) I would prefer to be proactive this time then wait for horrible symptoms.

    Again, thank you so much for leading me to your post, I really appreciated your advice!

    And your puppy is adorable!

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    Replies
    1. I wish to apologize for taking so long to respond. I was having trouble with my blog, but then I figured out that it was my favorite browser Firefox that was having problems with blogger, so I could not respond and then I forgot to get back to you.

      I am not trained in homeopathy, but I am empathic so I can tell not only what remedy to use but the dosage. It is hard to explain this gift.

      For the cat I think I used a half teaspoon of 10 ppm colloidal silver twice a day directly in his mouth with a dropper. Some cats resist this procedure more than others as I am sure you know.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.