Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital has announced a new protocol for treating parvo puppies at home at a greatly reduced cost. This will be welcome news for owners, rescuers and shelter directors who want to save the lives of sick pets but in some cases are unable to pay for the hospitalization costs at the veterinary clinic. The treatment was tested in a recent study of 40 parvo pups which found similar survival rates between puppies who underwent veterinary hospitalization and those treated at home. Continual care is required during the home treatment, just as it is for the in-hospital treatment:
The treatment relies on two drugs recently released by Pfizer Animal Health (which funded the CSU parvovirus study): Maropitant, a strong anti-nausea medication given under the skin once a day; and Convenia, an antibiotic given under the skin once, and lasting two weeks; as well as administration of fluids under the skin three times daily.
CSU estimates the costs per puppy for in-hospital treatment of parvo at $1500 – $3000 while the home treatment is in the $250 range.
Parvo used to be considered a death sentence for puppies and many shelters automatically killed any pup suspected of having the disease or even having been exposed to it. Widespread vaccination has helped to reduce the number of cases, even in shelter environments. And with advances in veterinary medicine, parvo is now considered a treatable illness with an excellent survival rate.
Sadly there are still too many shelter directors who continue in 1970s mode – offering neither routine vaccination upon impound nor treatment for dogs who get sick with parvo. Mass killings in the face of outbreaks still occur in shelters around the country, even though the practice is inconsistent with current science. This new reduced cost parvo protocol from CSU is yet another proven alternative to killing. As more and more of these alternatives continue to develop, shelter directors still clinging to old-think will eventually be forced to either change or get out of the way.
(Thanks Arlene for the link.)