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|07-30-2009, 02:40 AM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2006
Alternative treatments for parvo
Alternative treatments for parvo - Part 1
Canine parvo is one of the most feared diseases for a dog. Dogs can die within 24-72 hours if not treated. Puppies are especially susceptible to it, although it can also strike adult dogs, sometimes even if they are vaccinated for it.
It is a relatively new disease. Parvo as a whole is a species specific virus. There's feline parvo (also known as panleukopenia, feline distemper or FPV,) bovine parvo, raccoon parvo as well as others. The canine version of parvo didn't manifest until the latter part of the 20th century. There is a lot of confusion over where it came from. Some of the literature places its origins in Europe. Some rumors claim that it originated in a lab at Cambridge. The general consensus is that it first appeared in the late 70's, although there is some reference of it being present as early as the 60's. It is thought to be a muted form of the feline version and is 98% identical in the DNA sequence. Where ever it came from, when it made it's presence known, it left a deadly calling card in its wake.
The parvo virus actually is good evidence as to how much we have damaged the immune systems of our canine companions with the food we feed to them. There are two indicators that point to this. One of the strongest is the fact that at the same time Parvo was devastating the general population with it's deadly spread in household companions, it was also moving about in the populations of wild canines. In their book "Infectious diseases of wild mammals," Elizabeth S. Williams, Ian K. Barker state that:
Sera positive for CPV antibodies were first detected in coyotes in the United States in 1979, and by 1981 most coyotes examined in Texas, Idaho, Utah and Ontario were sera positive. Positive sera were collected from gray wolves in Alaska during 1980. More difficult to rationalize are reports of antibody to a pravovirus in gray wolves as early as 1975-77, because CPV was unknown in other canids in the United States at that time.
If it was as deadly to the wild animals as it was being with the domestic animals, they should have been wiped out. No one was giving them supportive therapy to help them make it through the crisis. The estimates survival rate of dogs not receiving support is only 20%. So even if it did not wipe out the populations of wild animals, it should have drastically reduced their numbers and yet it didn't. There are many people who would point to this and proclaim the benefits of a more natural diet, and they wouldn't be wrong. From her book "The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care," C. J. Puotinen states:
Throughout the 1980s, Juliet de Bairacli Levy received reports from followers of her Natural Rearing (NR) philosophy documenting the virus' spread through Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. Even when canine parvovirus rates were at their peak, NR dogs were unaffected, demonstrating the strong resistance of unvaccinated animals on a natural, raw diet, given ample daily exercise and protected by medicinal herbs.
At that point in time the healthier foods were not yet available. Unless you were making your own dog food, you were feeding the kibble found in grocery stores, which we now know is both lacking in real nutrition and contains toxins that weaken an animals immune system.
Not everyone feeds a raw diet. Often times the dogs we are caring for came to us with unknown histories. It is not unusual for rescues to pick up mothers in very poor physical health herself and so she has not passed on the immunity to her puppies. There are vaccines that can be given for parvo, but be aware that even dogs who have been vaccinated can still get the disease, especially as the original virus mutates. It is believed that we are currently dealing with what is referred to as CPV2c. This is the 3rd generation of the original virus. And not everyone believes in giving vaccinations.
Avoiding exposure to the virus can be difficult. The virus is amazingly hardy and can survive both freezing temperatures and extreme heat. It is estimated that the virus can live on surfaces for a couple of years. The only thing that is known to kill the virus is a mixture of bleach and water (one ounce of bleach to a quart of water), not something that can be spread on the ground in areas where there are lawns and other plants without killing them. In addition, if you walk through an area where the parvovirus is, you can bring it home to your dogs on your shoes. Avoidance is a still good strategy, just be aware of the difficulty of the task.
Puppies will be in a time of stress due to separation from their mother and litter mates. Stress is known to lower the immune defenses. CJ Puotinen recommends the following support to help young puppies get through this stressful time:
To help protect puppies, during weaning and the transition to their new homes, pups can be fed freshly made yogurt or kefir, acidophilus supplements and bovine colostrum (although it is not the same as motherís milk, it is a partial substitute.) Small amounts of bee propolis, vitamin C and antiseptic herbs can help puppies resist not only parvovirus, but every other type of infection during this time of stress.
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