Diseases of Imperial Valley Pets: Parvo virus infection in puppies

Start of the parvo virus season is just around the corner. It extends through fall, winter and spring and is most prevalent in low desert areas such as the Imperial Valley. Affected puppies vomit, and suffer from diarrhea. If neglected, pups can become very dehydrated and death is a common outcome. Some owners treat sick puppies themselves using over-the-counter remedies, too often with disastrous results.  Years ago, I learned that the drugs used to treat sick puppies were critical.

Parvo virus infection in puppies

Sometimes when one of the penicillin drugs was used for treatment, the puppy would develop a severe Clostridium difficile diarrhea, a very undesirable consequence.
I did some studies to see what might or might not work. During the 2016 parvo season, 61 pups that had tested positive for parvo were treated. They all got the same regimen: a liquid oral prescription for the gastro-intestinal bacteria, a small injection of a broad
spectrum-antibiotic for other bacteria in their bodies, and an oral antivirus medicine used in people. Puppies were sent home with instructions to return the following day for further treatment. Most of the sick puppies were treated only once, and only one of them died.
Perhaps the antivirus medicine was most helpful. I am not certain that it was, but I continue to rely on it.


Dr. James HowardJames R. Howard D.V.M, Ph.D
4275 Highway 86, Brawely
Phone 760-344-5738