I am going to have to sign off soon as it is almost 11pm here in Ontario. Before I go, I wanted to give you an answer.
From what you have described in your 6 month old Pit bull puppy, I am very concerned that she may have Parvo virus.
Parvo virus is a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, often with blood, in puppies. It causes severe dehydration, and untreated often results in death. Usually, it would take a couple of days of untreated vomiting and diarrhea before the puppy died.
Puppies are routinely vaccinated for Parvo virus as part of their regular vaccines. These are usually given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. Once fully vaccinated, there is a virtually zero chance of a dog getting Parvo virus. Some breeds are more susceptible to Parvo - this means that they get sicker and take longer to recover than other breeds. The susceptible breeds are Rottweillers, Dobermans and Labrador Retrievers.
Here are links to more information:
Now, with your little one, it sounds like she may have had one vaccine given at 8 weeks. There may be some immunity from that, which would mean that this would not be as severe a case of Parvo as if she had no previous vaccines. But, just one vaccine is NOT protective. She would need this vaccine to be given 3 times at least in order to be protective.
I will quote here from a veterinarian who specializes in treating critically ill patients, Beth Davidow DVM DACVECC at
Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services in Seattle, WA (http://www.criticalcarevets.com/)
Canine Parvoviral Enteritis: A Review of Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention
J Vet Emerg Crit Care 14:167-176 Sep'04 Review Article 49 Refs
Jennifer Prittie, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine), DACVECC
The Animal Medical Center, Bobst Hospital, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10021. Fax:(NNN) NNN-NNNN E-mail: [email protected]
OBJECTIVE: To review and summarize current information regarding epidemiology, risk factors, and pathophysiology associated with canine parvoviral infection, and to outline diagnostic and treatment modalities for this disease. Preventative and vaccination strategies will also be discussed, as serologic documentation of immunocompetence and adoption of safe and effective vaccination protocols are crucial in limiting infection and spread of canine parvoviral enteritis.
ETIOLOGY: Parvoviruses (Parvoviridae) are small, nonenveloped, single-stranded DNA viruses that replicate in rapidly dividing cells. Canine parvovirus 2 (CPV-2) remains a significant worldwide canine pathogen and the most common cause of viral enteritis in this species.
DIAGNOSIS: Classic presentation of CPV infection includes acute-onset enteritis, fever, and leukopenia. Definitive diagnostic tests include detection of CPV in the feces of affected dogs, serology, and necropsy with histopathology.
THERAPY: Standard therapeutic practices for both mildly and severely affected puppies will be discussed. The ability of this virus to incite not only local gastrointestinal injury, but also a significant systemic inflammatory response has recently been reviewed in the literature, and novel innovative experimental and clinical therapeutic strategies, such as antagonism of proinflammatory cytokines and immunostimulation, are introduced in this article.
PROGNOSIS: CPV remains a significant worldwide canine pathogen. In experimentally affected dogs, mortality without treatment has been reported as high as 91%. However, with prompt recognition of dogs infected with CPV-2, and aggressive in-hospital supportive therapy of severely affected puppies, survival rates may approach 80-95%.
From personal experience, I do think that very small and very young patients have a worse prognosis. I seem to remember reading that WBC < 1000 are also a poor prognostic indicator but I can't find the website at the moment.
Now, that all said, there are some exciting reports of vastly improved survival rates with the early use of Tamiflu (used in human influenza cases) in dogs with Parvo. Tamiflu is made by Roche and the drug is oseltamivir phosphate. It is available to veterinarians. The dose used is 1mg/lb...that dose given AM/PM for 5 days along with the antibiotics and oral electrolytes and fluids. This use has not been studied by Roche and is considered "off label" use of the drug since is has not been approved for this use. However, it is widely use in veterinary medicine for treating Parvo and has dramatically improved survival rates. It would not be very terribly expensive for a dog this size (maybe about $80).
Here is more about Tamiflu:
Given how serious this is, and that there is a virtually 100% death rate if not treated, I urge you to see a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY! If she did get that first vaccine it will give her an edge, and you getting her in promptly definitely will help. With the addition of Tamiflu to her treatment protocol, I would hope that she will survive.
If this has been helpful, please accept my answer and leave feedback. I will still be here for another 15 min tonight to provide more information if you need it! ANd I will be back in about 9 hours!
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
Best wishes to you and your baby!