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A person on the "New Lab Puppy" thread reported that his well-vaccinated puppy had died of parvo. The pup was to be tested to see if it had contracted a new strain of the deadly desease. Let's talk about parvo.

I had my first case of parvo about 1980. I had a litter of six 3/4 Pit Bull puppies. I traded one away while they were still nursing--but eating also. That pup never had a problem. A week or two later, after I had weaned the others, four of the five pups that I had left got sick. One day they were fine. The next day, they appeared to have nothing wrong with them, but they would not eat. The next day they had a bloody diarrhea. I happened to have a single pill of a perscription anti-diarrheal medicine left in a bottle. I gave it to one of the sick pups. She and the one that did not get sick lived. The other three died. I asked around and was told about parvo--a desease that I had not heard of until then. Parvo soon displaced distemper as the primary killer of young dogs.

There was no vaccine, but the vets had discovered that the feline/cat distemper vaccination would, in most cases, immunize dogs against parvo. It was not long before a specific canine/dog vaccination was developed.

Because the cat distempter vaccination would cross immunize dogs, I developed my own theory about the origin of the new virus. I may be wrong, but I suspect that parvo is a mutation of the cat distempter virus that jumped species--like HIV jumped species from a Monkey. Like I said, I may be wrong, but....

The parvo virus usually attacks the lining of the stomach. Once the attack gets under way, anything the dog eats or drinks will be eliminated either as vomit or a diarrhreal stool. In both cases the dog loses more fluids and nutrients than he gains. Forced feeding and hydration through the mouth/stomach is thus counter-productive. The dog, usually a pup, goes to skin and bones and into a severely dehydrated state. He dies, generally, from dehydration. In some cases, the virus attacks, instead of the stomach lining, the muscle of the heart. The one pup in my litter that did not appear to be sick, was later found to have a heart condition.

I lost a number of pups to parvo before discovering how to treat it--which I did accidentally. I had two puppies with parvo which had reached the emaciated, dehydrated state. Although I knew antibiotics would not stop the virus, I decided to give the pups some penicillin to block, hopefully, other infections. The little guys had no muscles left, so I mixed the antibiotic with sterile water and injected it under their skin. The big lump this created disappeared in minutes: their bodies soaked the moisture up like a sponge. The pups died, but a light bulb had gone on in my mind. The next time I had a parvo pup, I immediately started injectingslightly saline water under their skin. I started saving parvo pups.

The next time I talked to my cousin, a veterinarian, I said to him, "I've figured out how to save parvo pups."

He looked at me and said, "Oh, how is that?"

I replied, "I inject slightly saline water under their skin." And then I told him how I had discovered this treatment.

He looked a little sheepish and said, "We do the same thing except that we use IV fluid." (IV fluid contains sugars that go directly into the blood stream without need for digestion. This provides calories and strengthens the animal.) He continued, "The first thing you have to do to save a parvo pup is get it away from the owner. The owners want to force feed and hydrate it, and that causes them to lose more fluid than they gain. I put the pup in a cage, and, every time I pass by the cage, I stop and inject some fluid under its skin." He then added, "I can tell by the smell of the animal when it arrives if I can save it."

The fluid, and sugar if there, often allows the pup to stay alive long enough for the virus infection to run its course--allows the pup to outlast the viral desease.

Standard vaccination procedure is to give the pup a shot when it is weaned--usually at six weeks. If the mother has been transmitting antibodies through her milk, this shot is not necessary and WILL NOT IMMUNIZE the pup: the mother's antibodies block the immunization. Because of this, a second shot is given in two weeks. Since the mother's antibodies will clear from the pup's blood in from ten days to two weeks, this shot almost always immunizes the pup. A third shot is given two weeks after the second as a booster--and insurance against the second shot not immunizing the pup.

My practice for a long time was to wean my puppies at six weeks, wait two weeks to give the first shot, then, if I still had the puppy, give it a second shot two or three weeks later. I did not allow the puppies to be on the ground during the two weeks between weaning and that first shot. I had no problems for several years, then I started having sick puppies during that two weeks. (I had a few get sick before I weaned them.) After a conversation with my veterinary cousin, I started giving that first shot when I weaned the pups. He said that the mothers sometimes stopped transmitting antibodies after two or three weeks of nursing!

I'm looking forward to learning what OSU--I think that is Oklahoma State University--comes up with in the case of the possible new strain of parvo. (My cousin is a graduate of their school of veterinary medicine.) It is possible that th pup in question had some kind of deficiency in its immune system. It is possible that the vaccinations given the pup were faulty. (Vaccination failures are supposed to be reported to someone/somewhere.) It is possible that the pup's parvo was a new, mutant strain. Viruses do that. I understand that the bird flu virus is in the process of doing that and WILL become transmitable from person to person as opposed to transmitable from poultry to persons. The looks to be one of those "Katie bar the door!" events.
 

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It was a mutated strain of the parvovirus that the current vaccine did not protect him from, and the drug company has alloted me $1000 to get another pup. OSU Vet. School test my pup and found out that due to a glitch in his genes he was not making any antibodies and that most likely nothing would have prevented him in catching this horrible virus.

Sorry for the long delay in posting this but I just forgot.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Single,

Glad to see your post. Let us know about the new pup--if you get one.
 

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I have found a breeder here in Oklahoma and the sire and damn are both master hunters and the puppies start a around $850
 
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