Parvo Advice for Those Who Can't Go to the Vet

Sick yellow lab isolated on white
When treating the parvo virus, a veterinarian should be consulted. But for many pet owners, the cost of professional medical care to treat their dog for the parvo virus can be difficult. If you are caught in a situation where you CANNOT see a vet, here are some ideas to treat your dog until you can arrange for the proper medical care. This is a page about parvo advice for those who can't go to the vet.

Warning: Parvo is a highly infectious and life threatening disease for dogs. Contacting your local veterinarian or animal shelter should be the first place to look for treatment advice, before trying home remedies.


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September 6, 2017

Editor's Note: All medical advice on ThriftyFun should be vetted by a medical professional prior to use. Dosages for animals needs to be determined by weight and human medications may not be safe for your pets. Tylenol can cause liver damage in cases of overdose.

My girl Pit Bull has parvovirus and she's on day two. We're fighting this disease together because it's not only affecting our dogs, but us as well. They are our best friends! My dog is 15 months of age. It is harder for older dogs! I started my own campaign. We are survivors of parvo!

I am a CNA. In taking my past dogs to animal clinics, I realize that they're more out for your money than anything! You can use children's amoxicillin, Gatorade or Pedialyte, and, last but not least, Zofran or nausea meds that you've been prescribed by your doctor. I break the nausea meds in half.

The first step is to break the antibiotic down into powder form and mix with Pedialyte. Then insert it towards the back of the throats while following another behind it. One more thing is you need a syringe. That's what you use to keep your dog hydrated as well as giving the medicine. Then you take your half of your Zofran and repeat it by crushing it and mixed with fluids. Suck it up with your syringe and squirt it into their mouth. You do this at least 4 times a day, for 7 days straight! You will see your dog getting better by the 4th to 5th day, guaranteed. Then you will be able to say "My dog is a survivor of Parvo!"

This also helps cats.

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December 19, 20175 found this helpful
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Not all human medications are safe for dogs. Tylenol is one that is not often recommended and can cause kidney damage if not properly dosed. Tylenol should never be giving to a cat.


-Licensed Veterinary Technician

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6 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 18, 2011

I have a puppy that is 10wks. today. Last night he started throwing up chunks of food, I didn't think anything of it, till this morning. He was still throwing up and it was getting runnier than at first. He is a little lethargic and has diarrhea and worms.

I have seen parvo many times before so I know that is what it is. I can not afford a $500 vet bill, I know this is what it costs because a few years ago I had a dog that had parvo and I had him treated for it.


I am giving him electrolytes as well as oatmeal water to keep his blood sugar at a normal level, and Kaopectate for diarrhea. Are there any home remedies that really work? So far we made it through day 1.

By crystal from Panama City, FL


July 26, 201333 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi, I have a beautiful pit bull she is 9 months old I diagnosed her with parvo 4 days ago today. There is hope! I noticed Sasha had parvo on the 3rd day when she was at her worst she was vomiting yellow foam an was pooping puddles of dark brown reddish awful smelling diarrhea. She was so bad off she couldn't even stand up and was lying in her own feces and vomit. :( She was so depressed and has that mommy help me look so I helped her.


I could not afford the vet so I immediately searched and searched the internet an looked up hospital cures as well as home cures and did them all! Here's what I did I used fresh squeezed lemon juice, human amoxicillin (vet uses its sister penicillin), as well as a nausea pill for humans called Zofran (vet uses ondansteron generic for zofran) and lots of water and Pedialyte. I gave her 5ml of lemon juice in a child syringe twice daily, took the powder out of one 500 mg amoxicillin, and crushed one 8mg Zofran til it was powder mixed it with boiling hot water so it would dissolve an sucked it up with the syringe as well I did this 3 x daily.

You also have to be very positive around her and love on her if you believe there's hope she will too. If you don't believe neither will she and you don't want her to give up. Today is the 5th day and she is getting up and walking around and drinking water on her own. She is no longer having diarrhea nor is she lethargic. She is now peeing and a million times better then she was 2 days ago when I thought she was going to die. I definitely recommend this to everyone it will work and your dog will live. I will keep you posted as she improves. Have hope.

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February 8, 2021

So we have a 2 month old Labrador-Shepherd. It's only been a day since he was suffering from parvo. He's been pooping blood, like cranberry red blood with worms and dang! The worms are jiggling and it smells funky! We give him baby food using a syringe and sugar water just for him to have something in his stomach but vomits after an hour or two.

He's responsive and still wags his tail when we call him but I see he's suffering. He's already skin and bones in less than a day :((( I use a syringe to help him drink some water to keep him hydrated. We can't afford the vet. What are the best remedies I could give our Tyler? :(( Please help me.


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February 8, 20210 found this helpful
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I'm sorry but if you do not take your Tyler to a vet even if just for a check-up to make sure you can call them if you need to ask questions after Tyler is home it could be placing him in a dangerous situation.


There are a lot of sites that recommend how to treat your puppy at home and there are OTC meds and fluids that are recommended but this is a very tough time consuming job and it is a constant 'watch' and 'treat' sort of thing and this is 24 hours a day.
There are also stores that sell these medications - Tractor Supply, Farm Stores, PetCo and others. The store personnel will help you once you explain your problem. Be sure you have Tyler's weight.
The sooner you begin any kind of treatment the better chances he will have to survive.

Here is some information about a treatment that is unusual but vet's say it works when/if your dog refuses to take fluids.

"Enema Fluids:
This is one of the most common ways to give fluid at home, and the amount that you will inject will depend on the size of your dog. The heavier the animal, the more fluids you will need to administer. Consult your vet on exactly how much to administer for the size of your puppy.


Enemas can either be administered with an infant enema bag, a bulb syringe or a standard clear syringe (not with a needle). Give the enema very slowly over several minutes in order to avoid the fluids coming right back out. Additionally, make sure that the fluids are at body temperature. It is very important to confirm that your dog actually needs the fluids, or else they will flow right back out no matter how slowly you go."

Here are some online sites that offer help with vet bills. I know nothing about any of the places so just look at the sites to see if you might qualify for help. Also, contact your local Humane Society to see if they have information about where to get financial help or lower vet services.

Here are links to how to treat your dog at home. Some suggestions will be different so read carefully but be sure you keep Tyler hydrated, rested and slowly provide food.

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February 8, 20210 found this helpful
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Parvo is very contagious to animals. This virus can last weeks , depending on the animal. Antibiotics is needed along with much care. If your dog has had his shots, this helps. You really need to contact a Vet, also if there are any other animals in the home, this would be very harmful to other pets , catching this virus. There is a Vet's link that you can ask questions for help. - - and this link-

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July 12, 2017

I do not have the money to go to a vet, but is there a way I can give my dog Ampitrexyl for the parvo infection? That is the best I can do. Please I love my dog dearly he is my baby boy. Will it help him?


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July 12, 20170 found this helpful

There is an article about an alternative treatment at home:

The two drugs are Maropitant, an anti-nausea drug, and Convenia, an antibiotic. Both are given under the skin. The Maropitant must be given several times daily. This is intensive treatment, but at $300, is much cheaper than the $1500-$3000 for hospitalization.

A dog can die within 48 hours of catching parvo. If I were you, I'd ask the vet about this treatment, or work out some payment plan.

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October 7, 2018

can ampitrexyl, a natural antibiotic, be used for dogs?

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April 18, 2011

I am adding this tip because my heart hurts when I hear about parvo. I know that sometimes we all can not afford the vet and it is a hard thing when you feel helpless. So if you have a pet with parvo, then this is what you can do:

Make some plain white rice and lean hamburger. Mix them up and let them cool to room temperature. Try feeding this to your pet, the rice is what they need, but the smell of the hamburger will make them want to eat.

Pedialyte has a good taste and will help keeping them from becoming dehydrated. This is what your pet will die from, the dehydration that parvo causes.

Also call your local Fry's food store with a pharmacy inside and ask if they carry the medicine for parvo. You do not need a prescription for this, but you will have to administer it yourself. This is not very hard, you take the back of the neck and grab the loose skin where the mother would carry it and inject in the loose skin, not the muscle. If your dog is older, then you might have to go to the vet and get a saline drip for your pet.

One more thing, keep them hydrated no matter what it takes. They are not going to want to drink so it is easiest to have crushed ice and put a small piece at a time in their mouth, even if they fight it. Not too much, just a piece.

My prayers are with all of you. Good luck and God Bless.

By Faith from Tempe, AZ


RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

Yes, treatment at the vet's for parvo can be very expensive, $500 - $6,000 per dog are the costs we've come across.

We've heard one vet say that 75% of his clients opt to have their dogs put down because they can't afford to pay for the treatment. This is really sad as there are cheaper methods of treating parvo-infected dogs at home that have a 90% success rate.

We've not come across the rice solution before, and wonder how effective it will be given that dogs with parvo typically can't keep any food down. Do you know the reasons why it is suggested that rice will help, or how effective it is at doing whatever it does?

While Pedialyte can be good, a better solution is to make the "parvo emergency tea recipe". This uses ingredients you can easily find at your local supermarket and/or pharmacy, and it not only helps to re-hydrate your sick dog, but it also provides some nutrients.

What parvo medicine is it that you can buy at the pharmacy? It sounds as though you're talking about IV/SubQ fluids, in which case these too will provide hydration support, but they won't do much to help with the parvovirus itself as there is no cure for this virus. (It can be treated, but that's a different matter altogether.)

As for keeping them hydrated, you're right, that's a must. However, you must also be careful not to over-hydrate them, as this can put a huge strain on their heart and can even kill them.

We really would suggest that people read a free book, called "Parvo Treatment 101", that my wife and I put together. It tells you all about parvo, how it strikes, treatment options (including safe and cost-effective herbal remedies you can administer to your dog at home), disinfection guidelines, and much, much more. You can find your free copy at "". (10/07/2007)

By Mark

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

I don't even have a dog, but after reading so much about parvo here I looked it up and found a great article here:'s a virus, so can't be cured and you can only treat the symptoms. Note also how very contagious it is! (10/08/2007)

By pamphyila

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

Intravenous fluid therapy is the mainstay of treatment for this illness. Administration of serum and newer colloidal fluids along with traditional fluid therapy seems to help puppies survive. Antibiotics are necessary to prevent secondary bacterial illnesses. Since Clostridium species bacteria are a common secondary problem, amoxicillin and antibiotics with similar spectrum are often used. (10/14/2007)

By faith

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

Pedialyte does help. If your dog has already lost interest in eating and drinking, I suggest using a medicine syringe, (I used an old one that I used to use to give my baby medicine). Fill the syringe and place at the back of the mouth and gently dispense the Pedialyte (or cheap version of) into the back of the throat. Orange or no flavor tastes best. It has a good taste and my puppy just drank it from a bowl. I also have had success with powdered Gatorade drink mix. You can mix a scoop with a can of canned dog food mix well. It is much cheaper than the vet. Continue to administer electrolytes (Gatorade, Pedialyte, Powerade) every few hours until the dog is drinking on their own. This could take days. I hope you have success with your puppy as well. (10/11/2008)

By Jessica from OK

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

We used a natural remedy for parvo a few years ago called Parvaid: or

It works excellently and prevents over 90% of puppies who have come in contact with the virus from getting it, if dosed preventatively.Hope this helps! (10/24/2008)

By Julie

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

A little over a month ago I found 2 puppies abandoned in the woods near a relative's house. I knew the starving puppies would die soon if I didn't do something. So I took them home. The girl, Lady, stayed with me and my husband. The boy, Tramp, stayed with my mom. My mom couldn't keep Tramp because of her living situation, so I took him too.

Lady has always been small and had more noticed problems than Tramp, so I think her weak immune system is what initially helped her get parvo. Of course any dog can get it, shots or not, and people will down you if your dog is not vaccinated and gets it or if you don't have the money to get them thousands of dollars worth of treatment, but I won't. I would have taken her to the vet if it didn't cost $3000.00. The vet said I could pay a few hundred and take her home for treatment if I opted to. A few hundred might as well be a thousand in these trying times. The only other option was to give her up and have her put to sleep. My husband and I considered this option just yesterday morning. We decided to help her fight for her life.

Everyone has good intentions, and if you are like me, you were going to go after you paid your bills on your next paycheck, then your dog got sick first. Obviously you researched parvo online, because here you are reading this. I did too. There were a lot of great ideas. The only problem with feeding your dog rice and hamburger and Pedialyte is that eventually some dogs won't eat or drink anything and when you force them to they throw it back up.

People may criticize you for trying to treat it at home, but if it is life or death, choose life.
Here's what I did:

I sucked up a dropperful of each of these and gave to her forcefully by mouth every hour or 2, whichever she could hold at the time. It may seem mean and some people will say don't force your dog, but I am telling you to do it because my dog was literally on her death bed and now she is hopping around and eating.

Your baby may fight you in this as mine did, but it is worth it. If she/he throws up, wait a few minutes till they calm down and do it again. Again, I didn't listen to people who told me not to. This was Lady's life at stake. She threw it up for 3 days, but on the fourth afternoon she suddenly wanted my pork chop. I wouldn't have opted to give her that to start back with, but it was the 1st sign she was getting better, so I gave her tiny pieces and little sips of water the rest of the day. Today is the 5th day and she is eating a little more and wants to play! What a miracle!

My husband and I are so happy about our decision to help her live, but it was also her will to live. We showed her love and constant support and allowed her to rest a lot. She slept with me and my husband slept on the sofa. She threw up on me and had it so bad with all the diarrhea we really thought she was dead already a lot of the time, but that look in her eyes said, "Help me", so we did.

Remember to make the room she is in as cheerful as possible when she is awake and as quiet as possible when she sleeps. Always hug her/him and show your love. It will make them want to live. Our other dog is bigger and stronger so we are hoping he will be fine, but if parvo strikes again we will be sure to treat him fast as possible.

I hope this helped at least one person to save their baby! In love. (05/28/2009)

By kimberly

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

First of all let me say to anyone who has to watch their dog or puppy suffer through parvovirus, my heart goes out to you. I am currently going through this myself, and it appears that our puppy may be going to pull through. I know that there are many web sites that will offer tons of advice and there are many good suggestions that are out there, but I will share what I have learned and what has got our puppy through this so far.

The first signs that any dog has parvo is simple, watch for a change in their behavior. If they are sleepy and seem to be out of their normal behavior you should start to keep an eye out on them at this point. Notice if your puppy seems to be eating less then not at all. (I wish that I had known this earlier.)

Second when your puppy starts to vomit (if it is a yellowish foam, your need to be aware that this is probably going to turn out to be parvo). You may also notice that your puppy's urine may have a strong smell that your have never noticed before. Then the last and most telling sign is runny, black, diarrhea (with an odor that you can not miss). Your puppy has parvo. I hope that you have been treating your puppy prior to noticing the last sign I mentioned, the explosive and horrible smelling diarrhea.

Let me say that I did take our puppy to the vet the second day that I noticed that he was not eating and the vomiting started. I was given medication for the vomiting (Cerenia - which you may be able to purchase at the pharmacy or a pet medication supplier) it will stop the vomiting. It is very important that you stop the vomiting and keep your puppy hydrated. As it is common knowledge among anyone who has had any experience with parvo knows the virus is not the killer of puppies, it is the lack of fluids, or dehydration.

If you can not get your puppy to the vet, which I strongly recommend you try in order to determine what is actually going on for sure, you need to hydrate your puppy and this will save his life. We gave our puppy Pedialyte, force feeding him with a syringe about 3-4 cc every hour for 24 hours. After your puppy starts to feel a bit better he will start to crave water, as his/her body needs the water to help eliminate the virus from their body. However you can not let them drink as much as they would like as it will induce vomiting and it will only make things worse. If they are going to their water bowl then give them a small amount (skim) the bottom of the bowl. You will need to continue to administer Pedialyte with the syringe every 2-3 hours at about 3-4cc per dose. Until your puppy has a normal bowl movement continue this process.

This is what we are doing and it is working. I hope that it helps as much as it helps us. I know my puppy is not out of the woods yet, but he is much better than he was two days ago. Once the puppy has made it past the 72 hour mark with this treatment and they seem to be doing any better or just holding their own, you have a pretty good chance that they are going to have a full recovery. Best wishes to anyone who needs this advice. (09/19/2009)

By Bryan

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

I am extremely happy to say that my 4 month old Pit bull puppy named Princess survived the parvo virus. We adopted her and her brother when they were about 2 months old and they were in very poor health and covered with ticks, but we cleaned them up and fattened them up very nicely.

Their previous owners said that they had received their first round of shots so I was not worried about them getting sick until they started showing some signs of illness last week. The boy puppy began vomiting with a lot of diarrhea. He could not eat or drink anything. We thought he had eaten something that made him sick, but by the second day he was skin and bones. This disease eats them up very quickly.

Sadly we lost him because I was too late in finding out that it was parvo. Well a day later the girl puppy started showing the same signs as her brother. So this time I jumped on it as quick as possible. We took her to the vet and they confirmed that it was parvo, but it was just too expensive to leave her there for a whole week at the vet's office. The only thing we could afford were some antibiotics that he prescribed and some electrolyte solution.

When I got home I started researching possible cures for the parvo virus. I found this website and several others that mentioned to give them Pedialyte and Pepto Bismal. I began treatments right away even though it was an extremely messy and smelly job of cleaning up and feeding her through a syringe even though she did not want to eat or drink anything at all, I did not give up. It was a 24 hour job for 3 days straight.

Finally on the fourth day she started to show signs of improvement. Today (April 18, 2010) she is eating and drinking on her own and playing a little more than before. The Pepto stopped the diarrhea right away and the baby Pedialyte grape flavor helped keep her hydrated. I noticed that her gums were pale so I also gave her some raw egg mixed in with the Pedialyte and about 10 minutes later her gums turned a pinkish color and her eyes brightened up. She is a fighter and I am glad I found your website with all the helpful information. Do not give up try everything you can to keep your pup alive it can be done my puppy is proof of that. (04/18/2010)

By linda

RE: Parvo Advice For Those Who Can't Go To The Vet

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January 27, 20174 found this helpful
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Save your puppy from parvo

as much as they will drink.
Boil and cool.
Feed little at a time to avoid vomiting.
If they refuse, wet their gums and see if they take it after that.
Use a syringe to put in a little a time every 10-15 minutes.

Attention and encouragement:
Talk to them.
Encourage them to fight and get better
Tell them why you are giving them medication and how it will help them
Tell them not to give up. Give them a reason to fight for their life.
Show them you are there for them

Canned food, mashed rice or potato, chicken fillets, chicken broth or soup.
Don't force them too much.
Put a little canned food or mashed rice on their tongue.
If they vomit. Wait half an hour before trying again
Try and feed them water after food as they might be thirsty. Don't force and only 2-3 licks.

drop tablets at the back of their mouth and give a little water with teaspoon or syringe
tilt their heads backwards gently to make sure they swallow
if they trouble, dilute tablet in a little water and suck it with a syringe and push it at the back of their throats
continue all medication until course is finished
no cure for parvo. Antibiotics to prevent other infections during parvo. Nausea tablets to help with vomiting. Dewormer to kill any word that could harm intestines during fragile state.

Vomit & diarrhea:
clean it as soon as dog passes it.
place paper down to make cleaning easy.
throw bleach mixed with water  (1:30) over any vomit,urine or stools as soon as you clean it and let it dry.
bleach is the only thing that kills parvovirus. Clean your house or yard as often as you can.
Put bleach water In a spray bottle and spray it over anything the puppy touches. And over shoes.

This is my personal experience of how I helped my fur ball succeed in fighting parvo. I am no doctor or vet. Any information I provided is only to help and does provide any guarantee. It's all up to the effort you put in and your puppy's will to live. I pray and hope you and your puppy successfully fight this life threatening virus. Please do take your pet to the vet. It is possible to hospitalize them or take care of them at home but it does require sleepless nights and around the clock care. Please feel free to ask for help as i am dedicated to helping anyone fight this virus after my experience.

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