A friend recently called me in a panic. Could I go to her house? Her dog Max was in critical condition and she had already taken her to the vet. The vet had said the symptoms indicated Max had Parvo virus. He had gone ahead to vaccinate the poor dog and my friend had taken the dog back home. His symptoms had worsened instead of improving and she needed my help.
One look at the dog and I knew what to do, because I had found myself in a similar situation back when Ginger was a puppy. A few days after her Parvo shot, Ginger had laid down lethargic, with loose diarrhea legs stretched out and just about ready to give up. But I had refused to give up and did to her what I always do to my children when they have diarrhea.
I offered her a salt and sugar concoction and stayed with her all night, spoon feeding her the fluid every thirty minutes. She is a proud Rottweiler who decides which dogs come and go in our house. She has forgotten when once upon a time she was a helpless puppy about to give up on me.
We tried this method with Max, staying up with him for many hours until he could regain enough strength to eat.
It’s important to remember that vaccines are viruses, although milder versions of the actual disease causing virus. If injected in a dog that’s already unwell, it might worsen instead of improve the symptoms.
A dog that’s unwell does not have a strong enough immune system to fight disease causing organisms, even if they are milder. It’s better to try and treat the symptoms first and only inject when the dog is healthy again, and has a strong immune system.
And I’m glad to report Max is a fine and fully grown Golden retriever.