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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16705
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I am a breeder with 12 puppies right now.

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I am a breeder with 12 puppies right now. I had to put a pup to sleep Thursday with parvo.I was so stressed and upset at the time I did not think ahead to try and get supplies from my vet for over a holiday weekend if they got sick. Now I have 2 more sick and I am scared to death they are all going to get it and die. They range from 3 weeks to 10 weeks.There is no way I can take all these pups into an ER vet and I hate this is happening on a holiday weekend when I can't get in touch with my vet until tuesday. I've called around and it seems no vet is comfortable in giving me extra lactated ringers, antibiotics or anything to hold me over until Tuesday for any other pups, even if I bring in 1 sick pup and do a $400 treatment and bring the pup home. I have lactated ringers but they expired in 2010. Can they be harmful expired? It would seem to me that anything is better than nothing but I don't know.I know they need antibiotics, nausea meds, pedialyte or something similar, anti diarrheal. I'm in a horrible bind and need to do something. Can you suggest some of the best types of antibiots for parvo. I have some Clavamox and Moxidrops (dry in the box) but they are expired. Am I better off to try and use these rather than nothing? I also have NON expired Baytril whch is 22,7 mg, but can that be used for a virus?? Can I feed a puppy pumpkin to help with diarrhea and if so how much or how often? I gave a nauseated pup 1-ml pepto bismol but not sure how long I can safely do that for a 2 pound pup. I've soaked their food in Pedialyte but only 1 is eating. I have plenty of Albon but don't think that will help any??? Should I give them Nutra Stat and how often and how much is too much? I am just sick at heart, have stayed up all night I am upset, cried, and even prayed several times asking God to help these poor little puppies.I wish I had the money to spend on trying to save all of them but I am single and unemployed .My only other idea is to take one sick one in and spend 400-500, cry and beg the vet for extras or something.Part of me feels theya re all doomed and I'm wasting my time but I just can't give up and not try. Please help this stressed out Grandma..Thanks and God Bless
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

Hello, you are in a very tough situation and I'd like to help.

You are right that these puppies may certainly die as even some puppies that have the best care don't make it.

Are both sick pups from the same litter as the one that died? If so then perhaps with strict quarantine measures we can stop the other litters from getting sick.

Use a 5% bleach solution on all hard surfaces and put the "possible" sick litter far from everyone else. Wear one set of clothes that you wear with the "possibly" sick litter. Have another set of clothes you can change into that you only wear when handling the obviously sick pups. Further quarantine the obviously sick pups into a separate room from the rest of the litter. Wash your hands well between handling any puppy. This is all about limiting further exposure.

Parvo virus destroys the gastrointestinal lining allowing gut bacteria to invade the blood stream and cause sepsis. That's what many puppies actually die from.

DO NOT use baytril. It affects joint development in growing puppies.

Do NOT give Albon. It won't help.

Clavamox is likely to cause further nausea and diarrhea. Because the Amoxi is expired it may not be as potent but if it isn't mixed yet it may be worth trying. A normal dose is 5mg to 10mg per pound of body weight twice daily. So using the higher dosing range would be the best strategy. I cannot tell you to give it or not because it a prescription drug.

The lactated ringers probably has most of its electrolytes degraded if it is expired but it would be a source of hydration. DO NOT give it if it isn't sealed or has been opened as it is likely contaminated by now. DO NOT give it if it is cloudy as that can mean contamination too. If it is clear, sealed and all you have you may choose to give it but I cannot tell you to give it or not as it a prescription product. Dogs need 1 ounce (30mls) per pound of body weight of fluids per day. When they are losing fluids from vomiting or diarrhea they need 3 to 4 times that amount.

As far as food you can try meat baby foods mixed with broth, puppy foods mixed with broth or a mix of 50% boiled hamburger and 50% boiled rice mixed with broth.

To try and settle their stomach today you can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at one eighth of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 5 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one eight of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 5 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.

For diarrhea you can start Kao-pectate at 1ml per pound of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat their irritated gi tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store.

If all this oral medication is making them vomit more then they won't help and you really must have the sick puppies seen.

I am so sorry for you and these pups. Just try your best and maybe you can save some of them.

Dr. Kara and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Good answers, thanks.Took 5 pups to vet and had them treated and took home and saved all their lives.No one else has gotten sick yet and I am cloroxing everything.

. I thinkI might have accidently signed up for a month of questions but I am not sure. I hate it I can't find more clear instructions Sign me up for one$15 month of questions please.I want it canceled after one month only with no auto renewal.


. If I sign up to ask questions about off label med amounts will they be answered? For example, I give Ivomec injectable for heartworm protection, but no vet will tell you the amount because it is off label and they want you to buy the Heartguard. I can't afford that with 33 dogs. I've been giving it for several years but I'm GUESSING at the amount and that bothers me. Will Tresaderm kill ear mites. Some say yes and some no so I need the truth.Won't ivomec also work for ear mites? Will it work for walking dandriff?



Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

I am going to refer this to customer service after I answer your questions because I can't answer your questions about subscriptions and account charges.

I am really glad to hear that no more pups have fallen ill and that the sick ones recovered.

Questions about prescription drugs can be answered in general, such as what drugs may be good for a particular condition and why particular drugs should not be used together. We are a source of information as long as it isn't a direct question about giving a particular drug for a particular patient at what dose if that patient hasn't been prescribed that drug.

We absolutely can't tell you doses of drugs that are off label for a couple reasons. The most important reason being the health and safety of your pet if we aren't able to physically examine him or her and know her health history as well as our inability to monitor your dosing (we can't see what you are giving). The only time offlabel drug usage is permissable is when no other source of the drug is available, AND we have physically examined the pet within a reasonable period of time, AND the owner is aware that the drug is being used off label, is aware of the risks and benefits of its use AND has signed a consent form stating so. Ivomec injectable fails all of those criteria. The second reason is that giving out such information could lead to a veterinarian losing their license and while all of us here want to help we don't want to lose our license to practice.

I understand Heartgard isn't inexpensive. There are less expensive alternatives such as Triheart Plus and Iverheart Plus. We as veterinarians don't care which heartworm prevention you use as long as it is formulated and labeled for use in dogs.

Ivermection and selamectin (Revolution) will kill ear and cheyletiella mites if used properly. Because these are both prescription products and are dosed by weight they need to be dispensed by your veterinarian after a physical examination.

Tresaderm can kill ear mites but it must be used twice daily for 3 to 4 weeks as it does not kill eggs and we must wait for them to hatch and be exposed. The fur around the ears is a hiding place for eggs and the mites. If you are using Tresderm you should bathe the dog thoroughly with a quality flea shampoo around the ears and all four feet/legs a couple times weekly for a month to remove eggs and adults that may have fallen from the ears when scratching.

I do not mean to be unkind but perhaps having fewer dogs will allow you to have better sanitation and be able to afford a proper parasite plan for your pups.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

You were not unkind to mention having less pups for more sanitation. Texas has recently passed a law that unless I want a license I must not have more than 10 intact females and I am abiding by that law which much be into affect by Sept 15.I am also starting to receive Social Security this month so it is possible.. I'm older and tired of taking care of this many pets, despite how much I love them or their income. I am single so I ha\ve to eat and pay my bills just like everyone else. It's a difficult economy and times now. The reason I asked tese questions is that I am VERY frustrated because the new vet that helped me save the pups from Parvo with shots, drugs and then take them home tells me that Tresaderm will not kill mites and it is all over the internet that it does kill mites. If one is not sure if it is yeast or mites, (or even possibily an ear infection) I feel you can't go wrong with Tresaderm. I've been using the Ivermectin 10% injectable I believe it is for many years so I know enough that I have not killed any dogs yet and I've been breeding for a very long time. It's just that ALMOST NO LIVING BREATHING VET ALIVE wants to loose the business of selling flea or heartworm meds while they are making a nice income and poor people are paying an airm and a leg for these meds and to me that just isn't how it should be. My problem is that there are new vets in the area as the older ones have moved on that knew me.. Anyway, I am going to try this month thing to see if it is of any help. It's sad because breeders all around the United States are loosing whole litters becaue they wll not spend $1,500-$3,000 per puppy for in house around the clock vet care to save them when if you can find a vet who will work with you and drug them up with antibioitics, nausea meds and loose stool meds plus lactated ringers, then more meds to bring home it's great.... but too many vets are too money hungry to suggest this treatment. I only spent about $600 on the ole credit card but I saved all the pups to sell. I called and talked to dozens of vets who would ONLY do in house care for parvo. Despite the Poodle Club here who has vets who come for the meetings and seminars, these elite breeders with dozens of champions under their belt are loosing whole litters. I am going to be the one to make a difference and bring this to light in the publics opinion too. We are all in the business of wanting to take the best of care for the least of cost and what ONLY counts is to end suffereing and save lives. I am afraid I have gone on and on and I apologize, but remmber I am paying and I really needed to vent bad.To get MULTIPLE vets with differnt answers happens to me all the time and it's wrong and frustrating. I don't want to start arguments with them so I never speak up. I just let tehm tell me I am wrong. I have no idea if it is right or wrong but someone advised me with mites, that you are drowning them so you can even use olive oil or tea tee oil. Since I don't know about these things I just use Tresaderm. I'm looking forward to hearing your comments as I've never sounded off to a vet about this before and I too, surely do not mean to be unkind or a know it all.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

First I must say that one of the things I learned from a professor at veterinary school is that no one knows their dogs like their owners and since a dog cannot talk you must learn to be open minded and listen to their owners. It has served me well many times when early in a disease process an owner was the one to tell me something's not right and by looking farther we were able to find and treat a very serious medical condition that otherwise would have ended much differently.

I respect the years of nursing care and experience you have under your belt. No one can nurse a sick puppy and save what could be a disaster like an experienced breeder.

That said we are learning things all the time about why some of the "old wives tails" worked and why they may or may not be a good idea.

People used to use used motor oil on dogs with demodex mites. The dogs that got better probably would have anyway as we know now demodex in many dogs is simply related to an immature or very stressed immune system. There were a lot of dogs that likely died from lead toxicity from that used motor oil. But those dogs weren't around to breed so less puppies with the tendency to have demodex were born. Maybe long term that was a good thing unless that pup was yours. We would have been better off and saved a lot more puppies by improving their nutrition and treating gastrointestinal parasites which weaken them further.

Breeders have used water soaked cabbage leaves or tea bags on dogs with mastitis for years and if caught early enough no antibiotics were needed. We know know that those leaves and tea bags are terrific for reducing inflammation and pain and have weak antibacterial properties.

So we must temper "knowledge" with the "do no harm" philosophy and realize just because something seems to work isn't enough evidence that they wouldn't have gotten better without the "treatment". This has happened with some of the drugs that have been introduced through the pharmaceutical companies too, not just homeopathic treatments.

Tresaderm does work, but there are mite populations that have become resistant because it wasn't used properly or people weren't willing to bathe the paws and around the ears to catch mites around the ears and on paws. The mites came back without those precautions so many people believe it no longer works, but used properly in most cases it does. Some veterinarians have given up using Tresaderm because the rate of cure is poor unless owners are willing to do the work. We know applying Revolution every 2 weeks will absolutely work with no further effort on an owner's part. Mineral oil or olive oil can "drown" the mites and may work if you have a very early infection but in most cases I don't believe it will be enough. Tea tree oil is toxic to dogs and cats, cats are more sensitive than dogs. If absorbed through the skin in significant quantities you will see drooling, vomiting and ataxia/incoordination as it affects the nervous system. Unfortunately it is all over the internet as a "safe" homeopathic treatment for all sorts of conditions. It upsets me greatly to read about it and know how many people are unknowingly poisoning their pets.

I really have to disagree with you about most veterinarians being money hungry. I'm sure there are some, as there are in all professions, but none of us went into this thinking we would be rich. We pay a huge amount of money for our education and we pay a huge amount of money for malpractice insurance. Most of us come out with a debt that takes a decade or more to pay off. And the reason that many young vets aren't willing to "work with you" is that the legal standard of care is such that should something go wrong, and you choose to sue that veterinarian, when all is said and done they would be held accountable for their treatment being "below the standard of care". They could lose their license worst case scenario or end up with a huge legal bill. In the society we are in today lawsuits are way too common so we can no longer practice as we used to, we must practice defensively. Believe me it is painful for us too to see a puppy that could be saved except that people are financially strapped. We do our best. If we have a long term relationship with a client then it makes it easier to work out some sort of care plan. If they are new to us though then we are very wary as there is no trust built up either way.

As far as using Ivomec I have to say that I simply refuse to help dose it out. We had a breeder that sent it home with all her pups. I saw the after effects of what was either a very sensitive puppy or an overdose due to misreading directions from the breeder and this poor little pup was seizuring. The family that bought the pup paid a lot for it and simply didn't have the money for us to hospitalize and treat their puppy and I couldn't guarantee that we could save this pup. It was heartbreaking for their young children to have to say goodbye to a puppy they had fallen in love with. In my mind that was a completely preventable tragedy and not worth the money saved.

Anyway now I am ranting a bit, but it is painful to be accused of being money hungry.
Best of luck with your pups.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I did not say you specifically were money hungry. I don't even know you. I have just encountered it with many vets since mine have all retired. The young vet DID work with me and drugged up the5 pups and helped me to save their life for a reasonalble price which ended up being about $100 per pup. All the others (and I called a whole slew) wanted in vet care 24 hours to save them and I proved a point to myself, which I had wondered, that they could be saved without having to leave them at the vets hospital with IV's. That cost was quoted $1,500 to $2,000 per pup. These vets would have rather of seen the pups die if they could not get me to leave them there a few days. OK, I'll get off my bandwagon, thanks for being a sounding board. You made some good points too. Sueing never entered my mind that it happens with vets and customers.

My concern now is that the stool is now nice logs but is black. These pups have been eating like pigs for days and just as happy and playful frisky as before. I need to know how long they will shed the virus and how long the stool will stay black. Is it back due to blood or all the drugs? I plan on calling the treating vet and asking her but getting different answers makes me want to ask 3-4 vets just to be sure. These pups are sold and the owners want them and I have to make sure that they will be 100% safe if they have any other pets at their home and do not want to put any more parvo virus in the soil. One buyer says she has a cement area where she can train it to go for now and she can pick up the stools. I JUST DON'T WANT ANY PUPS TO LEAVE HERE WITH ANY CONCERNS FOR THE BUYER OR ME.If you can think of anything else that might be a concern that is good. I've heard that if they get parvo they can get it again and also they can not get it again, so which is true?


Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

I'm sorry I know I was on a bit of a rant myself. I know too many good veterinarians to hear someone say how many of us are money hungry. It's an admitted sore point for me. If you've found someone who will work with you stick with them as the more you work together the better your relationship will be and the more amenable to helping you they will be.

The black color to their stools can be a combination of digested blood and depending on what drugs they are taking may be related to their drugs too. As long as the stools are solid and they are eating well and not vomiting I wouldn't be too worried about stool color.

As far as shedding virus the worst is for the first 2 weeks after they are infected. Ideally I would wait a month from the time they got sick for them to go to new homes to be extra cautious. If they have other dogs and they are adult, fully vaccinated healthy dogs they should be fine.

In most cases dogs that have had a full blown infection have great immunity to the parvo virus and don't get sick again if they are exposed. But there have been cases of dogs getting sick again so we do recommend a normal vaccine series for these pups once they are well again.

As far as future prevention I would make sure your bitches have a booster vaccine before they are bred so maternal antibodies are high and make sure to continue using bleach as a disinfectant in your kennels. While UV rays in sunlight are deadly to the virus indoors it can survive for months to years in the right environment.

If you have visitors to see the puppies they should never be allowed to walk through your kennels as they can bring viruses in on their shoes.

Have a visiting area with all hard surfaces or things that can be washed in bleach/steaming hot water and make sure all visitors wash their hands well before touching a puppy. Ideally they would not visit more than one kennel per day so they aren't bringing anything with them.

Best of luck keeping everyone healthy.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Is there any way a fecal can determine any shedding? Some people are hesitant about the situation and I can certainly understand why. Personally I would not want to pay hard earned money to buy a dog that had recovered from parvo...or any pup I had any questions about. I am leveling with my buyers and we are just waiting to try and cover all the bases. All 5 pups are doing great. The recovered pups are still in the isolatioin room and I was wondering what their chances might be to get reinfected as now another litter of 2 is not eating and are starting to have strange stools.I'll be taking them in to the vet for sure but can't today so giving SQ fluids, diahrrea med and nutra cal. I'm going nuts with this situation and it is grinding on my nerves....little sleep...even under or over eating...stressed to the ultimate max.


What about a customer who has a 2 year old boostered dog of mine and wants her pup but she has friends that bring their dogs over and does not want any parvo shedding in her yard. It sounds like to me like even vaccinated dogs can get it, but it is rare. Am I better off to tell her to NEVER take ths pup even in a month or 2. I understand there are exceptions to most situations and I do understand. Would you personally take a 3 month old pup into your home and yard where other dogs come to visit?

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

Hello, I would think that if you have a negative elisa fecal test on these pups they are no longer shedding virus in appreciable amounts such that they would be a concern for healthy, vaccinated, adult dogs. And more than likely at that low level (showing a negative fecal test after an initial positive diagnosis and treatment) the virus amount, if any, that is being shed wouldn't be enough to make any dog sick. Of course once a dog is sick it will shed the virus and we can never guarantee 100% safety to another dog but the probability of these pups shedding an appreciable amount of virus after 4 weeks and with a negative fecal test is very, very low.

Likewise once a dog contracts parvo virus and successfully fights the infection chances of being infected again are very, very low. Their immune system should have plenty of antibodies and cell medicated immunity memory to protect them. Can it happen in a dog with a very poor immune system? Yes, but the chances are incredibly low.

Can appropriately vaccinated dogs get sick? Yes, but cases of parvo virus in appropriately vaccinated, healthy adult dogs is infinitesimally small. I don't know that I have ever seen a case.

If the previously infected/sick pup had been well for a month and had a negative fecal elisa for parvovirus then I would take it into my home/yard. I would make sure all dogs that play with mine are vaccinated fully and thus not have to worry about my dogs, or theirs, getting sick.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Is an Elisa fecal the kind of fecal that checks for everyhting and costs much more than a rgualr fecal? When most vets "do a fecal" are they doing teh Elisa?


Ya know, I just got to thinking that there are good and bad of every profession....even breeders. I find most breeders are out for the money and have little on their web sites about health. My site is one of the few poodle sites that is huge with information for someone who does not know about canine health to learn. I just don't want to sell, I want to educate and that is why I try and learn all I can to share with friends and customers. When people come to purchase puppies I will spend long paeriods answering questions and tell them for life they can call with questions. When you love and care about animals you just do it. They are my babies and I want the best for them. Too tired for any more internet tonight. Thanks for your help.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

The elisa parvo fecal test is a test that looks for antibodies to the parvo virus in a dog's stool. There is some controversey that it may pick up antibodies from vaccines, although the manufacturer claims it does not. Either way it should not show positive if the dog has been vaccinated more than 10 days ago and has not been exposed to parvo virus. That's all it checks for. We only do this test to prove an active parvo virus infection, although early on in the infection, before antibodies have had time to from, it may come up negative.

The fecals I believe you are talking about are the ones we submit to the outside laboratory and they check for a range of intestinal parasites including protozoa, worms, as well as abnormal bacterial. They do not check for parvo virus infections.

I am glad to gear that you try to educate new owners. An educated owner is far more likely to keep a dog for life and be a partner in health care. Good for you and your puppies.

I hope this information helps.