How Do I Know if My Puppy Will Survive Parvo? + Home Treatment

How Do I Know if My Puppy Will Survive Parvo

Puppies undergo sets of injections in their first few weeks of life, and these will help protect against the highly contagious canine parvovirus. However, it’s not 100% reliable, but in most cases, having shots at 6 weeks followed by one at 8 and 12 weeks will protect your puppy from parvo.

If your puppy has not been vaccinated and has come into contact with other dogs, there is a chance of contracting parvo. If this has happened, know the survival rates and how to treat the puppy are key.

How do I know if my puppy will survive parvo? You will know your puppy is surviving parvo when vomiting stops, they start eating again, activity levels increase, and blood starts to disappear from their poop. This is providing your puppy has been diagnosed properly and is undergoing parvo treatment.

What are the chances that a dog with parvo will survive?

Puppies contracting parvo can die within 48 to 72 hours so the key to survival is an immediate diagnosis and treatment. Signs your pup is on the road to recovery includes feces firming up with no blood in them.

The chances of survival are good. Whilst parvo can be deadly, parvo survival rate in puppies given professional treatment by a vet will range between 68% to 92%.

If you puppy has survived the first 4 days of parvo, then chances are they will make a full and complete recovery.

Your puppy will stop vomiting and will start to eat normally again. You will also notice less lethargy and a return to their active, playful self.

During those first 12 weeks of life, you need to keep a beady eye on your pup and make sure they’re kept away from unvaccinated dogs. If your puppy does get parvo, you’ll need to get him or her to the vet immediately to start treatment.

Handy Hint: Even dogs that have had their parvo injections can still get this disease. Whilst rare, it can happen and here’s what to look for.

A parvo diagnosis can be devastating. But it’s treatable if caught in time. Read on to find out what are the signs of this dreaded disease.

I’ll also talk about how to know if your pup is dying from parvo, the chances of them surviving and how much it costs to treat your puppy with parvo.

how do I know if my puppy will survive parvo
Once your puppy starts to be active again, it’s a sign the puppy will survive Parvo.

Your puppy is at risk of getting parvo until all three shots have been administered over a period of 12 weeks. A booster shot is then needed once a year to keep your dog protected. You’ll need to be extra-precautious during the first 12 weeks of your pup’s life – never buy a puppy without them having their first set of shots.

If your puppy does contract the disease the following near-death signs of parvo will alert you:

  • Frequent bloody diarrhea.
  • Persistent vomiting with blood in it.
  • No appetite and refusing to eat.
  • A fever or hypothermia.
  • Lethargy such as your puppy not walking or moving around.
  • Abdominal bloating and pain.

It takes between 10 and 14 days before these symptoms appear after your pup has been exposed to the virus.

How do I know if my puppy is dying from parvo?

Parvo moves fast and if not treated as soon as possible, your puppy can die within 48 to 72 hours. If you don’t get the right treatment, the likelihood of your pup dying is 91%. If left untreated, your pup will die from dehydration.

Besides the signs mentioned above worsening, your pup will start to get lifeless, depressed and extremely cold. This disease causes internal bleeding, so you’ll see increased liquidly, bloody diarrhea, blood in the vomit and her gums are pale.

If your dog is being treated and receiving hydration, she’s still prone to getting sepsis. When this happens, her organs will start to fail. She’ll display similar signs of dying to when she’s dehydrated and untreated.

If you managed to get your puppy started on treatment early enough, she’s got a 68 to 92% chance of survival. Proper treatment should be done under the care of your vet. They’ll advise you on how the treatment plan will be implemented.

Your vet’s treatment plan includes the following:

  • Supportive treatment of vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration by making sure these symptoms are managed and brought under control.
  • Ensuring your puppy receives adequate nutrient intake through a drip.
  • Antibiotics to treat any secondary bacterial infections as a result of the virus damaging the puppy’s intestinal wall.

Your vet will also advise on what steps you should take if you have other dogs in the house.

How long does parvo last?

If your puppy survives within the first four days, her chances of recovery is higher. It normally take up to seven days for puppies to recover completely from parvo. But, this does depend on the treatment they’ve received.

I can’t stress the importance of getting treatment as soon as possible. The right treatment also means your pup will recover in a much shorter timeframe. Because your puppy’s immune system is still developing, they’re more prone to taking longer to recover.

If your pup is being treated in your vet’s hospital, their chances of recovery is 90% (if treatment started early enough and they’ve survived the first four days).

If you opt to do home treatment, their recovery chances are 85%. But this is only if you’re vigilant and follow the vet’s instructions completely.

How much does it cost to treat my puppy with parvo?

Canine parvovirus is a costly disease to treat. You can expect to pay anything between $ 500 and $2 500 to help your pup recover from the infection. If your puppy needs to hospitalized for a longer period this cost will go up.

For many pet owners this is way beyond their budget and they opt to euthanize their pup. This can be a devastating decision to make for many dog lovers. So, it’s always essential to ensure your puppy is vaccinated correctly for parvo.

Why does it cost so much to treat parvo? Firstly, the tests to diagnose the disease end up costing a few hundred dollars. Then, once confirmed, a treatment plan needs to be put in place. This includes hospitalization, intravenous drips, medications and any other procedures if necessary.

If your pup is not responding well to the treatment plan you vet may decide to a blood plasma transfusion. This is normally done in severe cases and can cost anything up to $1,000 per day.

Many pet owners are opting to do home treatment because of the high costs of in-hospital treatment. This does bring the costs of treating parvo down.

How do I treat my puppy with parvo at home?

Your puppy can be treated at home once your vet has diagnosed the virus. Your vet will give you the best advice for home treatment. The main focus will be on preventing your puppy dying from dehydration.

Home treatment for Parvo will include the following:

  • Keeping your puppy well hydrated: This includes giving your puppy regular, small doses of water with electrolytes. It will be challenging for your puppy to keep liquids in as they’ll continue to vomit and have diarrhea.
  • Checking your puppy’s hydration levels: You can do this by pinching your puppy’s skin up gently and then letting it go. If it snaps back immediately then your puppy’s hydration levels are healthy. But, if the skin flap takes a long time to settle back into place, you need to get your pup hydrated as quickly as possible.
  • Keep checking the gums: A healthy gum is pink. When your pup’s gum begin to turn gray, white or even go bright red, then you need to get her to the vet immediately.
  • Keeping nutrient levels up: Your pup will be feeling nauseous and will refuse food. However, if you can get small quantities of canned or bottled baby food (it must be plain with no garlic or onions added) into your pup it will increase her chances of survival. Mixing the food with water and using a dropper will help you get some food into your pup – here are some feeding tips for Parvo.
  • Alternative medicines: You could try using homeopathic medicines to help alleviate the symptoms of Parvo while managing your pup’s condition.


Parvo is a serious virus that’s highly contagious, requires immediate treatment once diagnosed and ongoing treatment until your puppy recovers. If you opt for home treatment, make sure you contact your vet if you have any concerns during the treatment.

Knowing whether your puppy will survive Parvo is something all owners will want to know. You really are in the best hands with your vet though, so please do seek expert help.

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Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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