Author: askvet

 The effects of the novel coronavirus are all around us – social distance, self-quarantine, shelter-in-place – are all impacting daily life. There are some important things to know about pet care in this difficult time.

COVID 19 has been shown to be highly infectious in people. What is unclear currently, is whether or not our pets can actively be infected with the virus. Infected means being able to have the virus make more of itself inside the pet.


Top Five Things to Know RIGHT NOW

  1. Currently there is no proof then a pet can be infected with COVID19.
  2. If you are positive or have been exposed making sure that you limit your contact with both pets and people that are immunocompromised is an excellent way to make sure that the virus does not “ jump“ to a new species.
  3. Only taking your pet to the veterinarian when they are sick during this time will also help protect the veterinary staff as well as yourself. Many staff members are young and could be in the asymptomatic group of the population.
  4. Get creative and comfortable with new ways of contacting medical experts for your pet! The virtual care options provided by MyPetDoc are the new norm!! Extreme comfort in knowing that your pet will be OK when you see a potential symptom helps to keep you home if you don’t need to be out.
  5. The use of online pharmacies may be an excellent way for you to limit your exposure, limit your veterinary teams exposure and your pets exposure to this virus by having medications shipped directly to you! Your pet is able to stay healthy and on time for needed medications while you stay safe.

Be well and thank you for allowing the MyPetDoc team to help you to keep your pets well during this time!


We’re living through a very challenging time…a time when millions of pet owners and veterinary practices are struggling to balance the needs of their families, pets and businesses.

With the many directives we are receiving due to COVID-19 – social distance, self-quarantine, isolation, shelter-in- place – one thing is clear: the usual flow of animal health care has been disrupted and its impact will certainly resonate well into the future. We want to share some tips for how to best manage your own health and that of your pets.

Utilize Virtual Triage

MyPetDoc powered by Ask.Vet is here for you 24/7. We can help determine if you have an emergency and must go to a pet hospital or if the situation can be managed from home. This will help you make the best decisions for your pets and family while we weather the coronavirus.

Online Prescriptions and Pet Food

During the COVID-19 crisis, federal and state rules regarding virtual prescriptions for pets have been loosened.  Your MyPetDoc virtual veterinarians can now help you renew and fulfill pet medicine and prescription pet foods.  No need to venture out when you are sheltering at home and avoiding exposure to coronavirus.

Take That Walk

With Covid-19 forcing so many people to work from home, don’t forget you can still take your dog out for a nice long walk.  It’s good for you and your pet too!  Play fetch and enjoy your pet’s company.  It’s a great way to releive the stress of difficult times.



Cats as you know, are relatively quiet animals. Unlike your dog that may be overexcited and getting into everyone’s business, you’re less likely to worry about what your cat get’s into. But accidents do happen. Being prepared for any sudden illness and/or injury is half the battle. Here is some online vet advice for you, during a cat emergency.

Each situation is unique and different, so you need to deal with your pet’s issues according to circumstances. Here are three common steps to help you cover and basic injury issues: identification of injuries, calling the vet, and how to transport your pet safely.

Online Vet Advice #1 – Identify injuries

Never immediately move your injured cat. Keep calm and assess the situation. Make sure that the threat gone if another animal was involved. Is there any bleeding? Broken limb(s)? Is your cat conscious? Are they breathing? Check their baseline vitals – heart rate, respiratory rate and temperate.

Identify all apparent symptoms before calling for help.

Online Vet Advice #2 – Call the vet

Just as you would pick up the phone to call 911 in an emergency, call your vet immediately. Even if they’re not in the office, there may be a staff member who can help you or guide you to the nearest pet clinic.

Be clear in describing the incident, injuries and current behavior of your pet. Give the vet all the details, as they might give you some instructions to follow at home before bringing your cat to them.

Online Vet Advice #3 – Gently transport them

Injured cats are usually frightened cats. They can become aggressive, biting and scratching you in fear. Protect yourself and them from further injury by talking to them in a calm, soothing voice. Use a thick towel to help gently lift and restrain them. You can also try coaxing them into a cat box with encouraging words and treats.

You can transport your cat to the vet in either a towel or a cat box. Try going with whatever you and your pet feel most comfortable with. If they’re used to traveling in a cat box, then it might be the better option for the car ride to the vet.

Online Vet Advice #4 – Prevention

It’s important to set some ground rules at home that will help prevent your cat from getting hurt in the first place.

Make sure to keep them away from any harmful things like toxic substances. Store rat poison and other dangerous chemicals in tin containers that are difficult to open or break. Make sure you store them in hard-to-reach places as well. If your cat is an indoor dweller, remember to keep windows shut to  the outside and make sure your family always shuts the door behind them. Cats are naturally outdoor creatures, but domestic cats can easily hurt themselves if let out and get lost.


Cat owners are all too familiar with the havoc that comes with sharp cat nails. Ruined furniture and scratched limbs are quite the norm at houses with cats. To save their property and skin, owners trim their pet’s nails. A job that may be easier said than done. Some online Vet Advice will help you get through it.

In the old days many people would declaw their cats. This is mostly frowned upon due to it’s inhumanity. Declawing was also not found to be beneficial to either the pet or their owner. Trimming your cat’s nails is a much better option and is recommended by vets.

You can trim your cat’s nails at home or go to a pet grooming salon. Because the latter can be costly, some owners do it themselves. The issue is that cats react very differently to the process. Some cats remain calm and don’t cause any trouble while trimming, while others won’t sit still and balk at the sight of nail clippers.

Online Vet Advice #1: Familiarize them with the clipper

You don’t want your cat to get agitated at the sight of nail clippers. Cut a few pieces of uncooked spaghetti in front of them so that they get used to the sound. It’s a great way to get him or her inquisitive in a positive way. Give them a treat every time you cut the spaghetti. When it comes time to actually cut their nails, repeat the same technique by giving them a treat afterwards, this will ensure positive reinforcement.

Online Vet Advice #2: Don’t cut into the Quick

The quick is the non-white area of your cat’s nails. The pinkish-red area is where the blood vessels are, so stay well away from them. Cutting into the quick can cause bleeding and pain. Only cut into the white area and cut less rather than more. If you do cut the quick, cats won’t forget. The trauma will extend to the next time you pull out those clippers and your pet will be in hiding. So be extra careful.

Online Vet Advice #3: Gently press the paw to extend a nail

Cat’s nails naturally retract into their paw when they’re resting. You can coax them out by massaging your cat’s paws and applying quick gentle pressure on each toe. Do it every other day, so your cat gets used to the process.


It can be pretty tough for a pet owner who has a sick dog. They may feel useless wishing they could do something but be at a complete loss. There’s nothing worse than having to see sad sick puppy eyes desperately looking up at you.

After visiting your vet, the best thing a pet owner can do when dealing with your sick dog is exercising patience. Often, you simply have to wait for the therapy plan to work its magic. The next best thing to do is to make your pet as comfortable as possible. These 5 tips will guide you through the best way to care for your sick dog.

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 1 – Feed Them Bland Food

Don’t give your pet foods that can disturb their digestive system or be difficult to digest. Stick to a bland diet of rice and unseasoned boiled chicken. At all costs avoid fatty meats, especially beef. Beef is the most common protein in pet food and therefore is often seen as a food allergen in dogs If you know your pet has issues with that protein do not feed it to them while they are sick.

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 2 -Keep Them Hydrated

It’s really important that your dog drinks plenty of liquids. Depending on the illness they are battling, they may be losing a lot fluids, so you’ll need to be sure they are drinking to replace it. Place a water bowl near them encouraging them to drink as often as they can. If they have a favorite drink, give it to them as much as possible. Clear pedialyte is a great one! Another fun addition to the water bowl is ice cubes – this attracts attention to the bowl and helps to encourage drinking.

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 3 -Track Symptoms

Keep a log book of any strange behavior exhibited by your pet. Of course, your dog can’t speak to you so it’s your job to understand his symptoms. Be perceptive of any changes in their behavior and habits towards food in particular. Trust your instincts – seldom is a detail too small to matter!!

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 4 -Don’t Forget Their Medication

During your busy day, it can be easy to forget when you need to get your pup his medication. Try setting alarms on your phone to remind for reminders. You also may want to stick a checklist to your fridge that tracks every dosage you’ve given them and when you started a particular medicine. If your dog is being difficult and refusing to take their medicine, try pill pockets! They turn the pets perception of getting medication into getting a treat. If you are still having an issue, call a vet who will visit your home for more help. It may be beneficial to ask for a compounded form of the medication prescribed, this can sometimes hide bad flavors and change a pill into a liquid!

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 5 – Give Attention

When your dog is sick they will obviously seem and act miserable. Give them more attention than normal. Make them feel comfortable with blankets, treats and calling out to them often. If you’re going out, ask someone else to check in on them frequently.



Like humans, cats don’t sneeze continuously without a reason. Most of the time it isn’t anything to worry about but if it persists, there might be an underlying health condition. Contact your veterinarian if symptoms are prolonged or worsening. For now, we are here to give you some online vet help.

There are five major reasons why your cat might be sneezing.

Online Vet Help Reason #1 – Infection

Upper respiratory infections can be behind your cat’s sneezing. Known also as ‘feline colds’, they are caused by viruses and are transmitted from other infected cats. They are especially common among young cats that are in animal shelters which haven’t been fully vaccinated yet. Viral respiratory infections cannot be treated directly with antibiotics, unless it’s from a secondary bacterial infection.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists two common viral infections that can induce cat sneezing: Feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus.  90% of adult cats have been exposed to these viruses at some point in their life and can often carry the virus with them for life. You may see symptoms resolved and reappear during stressful parts of your cat’s life (adoption, moving, new pets or visiting company) Bacterial infections include Bordetella, Mycoplasma and Chlamydophila – all of which can also cause an eye infection (conjunctivitis). Fatal diseases like feline leukemia are also known to be linked to cat sneezing because it lowers their ability to fight off other diseases.  Rarely, fungal infections can even be a reason for upper respiratory signs.  Severe dental disease can also be the cause of the bacterial infections in the sinus cavity.

Online Vet Help Reason #2 – Allergies

Contrary to popular thought, cats don’t always sneeze when exposed to allergens. Allergies in cats are more likely to cause skin reactions or itchy watery eyes. Although less likely, respiratory troubles will not be entirely ruled out.

According to Cat Channel, cat sneezing can be caused by environmental allergens like pollen that are carried in the air and inhaled. You can identify whether or not seasonal or environmental factors are responsible for your cat’s sneezing by changing your routine or even correlating signs with pollen counts.  If feasible, pay close attention different locations where your cat frequents and watch how h/she reacts. You may notice a difference in their sneezing patterns.

Online Vet Help Reason #3 – Irritants

Just like humans, cats sneeze if they inhale something that irritates their lungs, throat or nose. Contaminants in the air like cigarette smoke, perfume, pest sprays, cat litter, cleaning agents, candles, dust, pollen or mold can cause cat sneezing. It’s usually easy to identify when this occurs because it happens almost immediately. Many of these irritants can also be the starting cause of frustrating diseases like feline asthma so working to identify the irritant early in the process may keep you cat from having to deal with that!

Online Vet Help Reason #4 – Foreign Bodies

Cats much like dogs live with their nose to the ground.  This behavior put them at risk for sniffing something into their nose!  Grass awn (foxtails) and small goat heads are objects that can get stuck in the nasal passage of your kitty and cause profound sneezing fits!  Often, kitties will be able to clear it on their own but sometimes it requires a veterinarian going in and finding it!

Online Vet Help Reason #5 – Masses

Sneezing fits that seem to be progressively worse or especially accompanied by nasal discharge on one side should be taken very seriously.  Much like dogs & cats can develop tumors in the nose/sinus – both malignant and benign.  Sometimes, this can look just like a cold and often will need advanced imaging of the nose (CT or MRI) to be able to tell the difference.


The recent dog influenza epidemic has dog owners concerned everywhere. A chat with a vet will tell you what signs to look out for and any next steps.

According to recent reports, dog influenza is spreading in the US. Experts have confirmed the flu is real, but there’s no need to panic, not all dogs need a vaccine. We spoke to veterinarian, Dr. Shawna Garner, on signs to look for and how to keep your dog safe. 

Chat with a Vet – Signs to look out for

    • Cough – Coughs from influenza form in the lower areas of the body. Just like bronchitis or whopping cough for children, sick dogs have a dry, hacking cough. Because the cough resides in their tissue, it brings up fluid and you’ll hear your pet make a lot of the gurgling sounds.
    • Fever – Dogs are generally warm, so it may be hard for to realize when your pet is running a fever. By feeling your dog’s ears or the bottom of their paws you may notice that they are warm regardless they are not running a fever. A dog’s normal body temperature is 100.5 F, and if they’re stressed or anxious it can go up to 103 F. Taking a rectal temperature is the best way to know if your dog has a fever. Check out this Ask.Vet video of how to take your pet’s temperature

  • Depression – You may be able to tell if your pet has caught a virus when their behavior changes. They may become more lethargic and seem depressed, not really wanting to do anything. You may notice them seeking your attention more than usual. If it’s not normal for them to be lying around and looking tired, then they might have caught something.
  • Discharge – Sometimes with influenza you may see some nasal discharge. It doesn’t happen all the time because most nasal and or eye discharges are coming from the upper airways, while the flu affects the lower airway in the lungs. Because of this you may see them cough up a little bit of watery discharge. Otherwise, this fluid will just stay in the lungs.
  • Loss of appetite – An indicator that your dog may be sick is a loss of appetite. If he or she is turning their nose from food or specific treats they normally love, it’s a major sign that something is wrong. Dogs love their food and treats. If they’re suddenly not attracted to them it’s definitely cause for alarm.

Chat with a Vet – Precautionary steps you can take

Because influenza is a virus, it can be easily caught from other infected dogs via direct dog-to-dog contact. To keep your pet from getting sick, avoid areas and situations that may be overpopulated with other sick dogs. If you hear that there are recent outbreaks, it’s better to avoid places like dog parks, kennels, shelters, boarding facilities, grooming salons and other populated dog areas.

The influenza virus can also be transmitted by air, particularly via coughing and sneezing. Simply breathing the same exhaled air after an infected dog has barked in your pet’s vicinity can cause the virus to spread. If there is a local outbreak or your dog is sick, avoid parks and keep your dog away from other dogs.

Another way to lessen the chances of the virus spreading to your dog is by keeping the areas they frequent as clean as possible. Infected dogs that are coughing and sneezing may spread the virus via their mucus. If your dog sniffs a surface that may have become exposed or contaminated, they can inhale the virus. Extra attention to cleaning when your dog is sick will decrease the potential for contamination.

If you have questions about dog flu, wonder if your dog is at risk or if the vaccination is needed/appropriate for your dog, have a conversation with a veterinarian. Veterinarians do advocate for this vaccine in areas deemed an “epidemic outbreak”. They will help you decide the best way to protect your best friend!

In this episode of Chat With A Vet, we talk to Dr. Garner about Grain Free Food. Transcript of Chat With A Vet Episode 3 – Truth about grain free food is available below.

Chat With A Vet:     Ok Dr. Gardner here’s a question for you.

Dr. Gardner:    Alright.

Chat With A Vet:     So when I got Hulk when he was a puppy, one of things that I famously, and I think every pet owner does this, they famously Google information rather than talking to their veterinarian which is why Ask.Vet was created. It was to put pet owners in contact with veterinarians so you can get questions answered and figure out if you need to visit the clinic or not. So, prior to the Ask.Vet world, I was googling what I should feed my dog and one of the things that kept coming up to the top of all of my nutritional searches was how grain-free food is really good for your dog. So, since I have been buying Hulk grain-free food. And it’s a little bit more expensive, there’s bit of a premium on it and I’ve always felt that it’s good for him. Now is that true? And not just limit this to dogs but cats as well. Should someone be feeding, or should I be feeding, my dog and my cat grain-free food?

Dr. Gardner:    Well it’s kind of a myth that has been researched pretty extensively and the grain-free fat has been found to be false. While it doesn’t hurt your animal to be on a quote grain-free diet, being on a food that contains grains is not detrimental. Grains barely make up any component for food allergies in both dogs and cats, so grain is actually a good thing for your pets. We’ve known in school when we were taught, when we went through internal medicine rotations and dermatology rotations and we were looking at food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease. One thing we learned was that the number one allergen im both dogs and cats is beef. And at that time, we were taught that chicken is usually the second one but with recent studies coming out, I graduated almost 20 years ago, so with recent studies coming out they’re showing it’s actually that beef is still the most common and now the second one is dairy products so your cheeses. Sometimes you get like your dried milk powders that are added into food to increase protein content. So primarily animals are allergic to the protein source first, but they can have allergies to some grains but you would need to do an extensive allergen profile to determine that. For instance, boxers. I love boxers, I have boxers and man they’re nightmares. Boxers keep up us in business. My boxers all have food allergies and I saw a dermatologist with them and we ran a food panel and they were allergic to beef and chicken. They were also allergic to lamb, and then their top allergen was actually oat. So, they happen to have to stay away from oats as well. So, it can be you know a potential to help with food allergies so usually your grain-free diets are all bad.

Chat With A Vet:     OK, so the grain-free diets are part of the fat, so dogs actually have a higher allergic reaction to beef. Am I hearing that right?

Dr. Gardner:    Yeah, isn’t that incredible. Yes, they are actually the number one allergen reported in dogs. And this again are taken from your referral centres or from the companies that put out the allergen testing so they’ll collect all the data. And it has shown that the majority of dogs are at 95%, I believe it was over 90%, of dogs are typically allergic to beef.

Chat With A Vet:     Wow.

Dr. Gardner:    Yeah.

Chat With A Vet:     So when you walk down the grocery store, you’ll see dog food that comes in cans and it’s all like beef, stew [laughs]. That’s actually rather interesting.

Dr. Gardner:    Yeah. And reading the label. For instance, I know with my own dogs and this is going to sound wild but they were on a kangaroo diet. It was prescription food. But when I was researching different foods that are commercially available at most of your major chain pet stores, I would see one that specifically said for boxers, for skin and hair coats, for allergies, and they would label it is as like a salmon diet. I’m thinking oh great, they’re not allergic to fish. And then I’d flip the bag over and start reading the ingredients and sure the first ingredient listed was salmon. The second ingredient was always chicken or beef. So they cross-contaminate. I couldn’t use the food. So understanding the pet label is also important with that too. But yeah, no beef number one.

Chat With A Vet:     Rather interesting. So OK, you broke up there for a part of your explanation.

Dr. Gardner:    OK.

Chat With A Vet:     So just to kind of reconfirm. Beef is in 95% of dogs, beef it the number one allergen.

Dr. Gardner:    Yes. Yes, it was reported that roughly 95% of the allergy reported cases were allergic to beef and then dairy was responsible for the other portion of that.

Chat With A Vet:     That’s just wild.

Dr. Gardner:    Isn’t it?

Chat With A Vet:     That’s just so wild.

Dr. Gardner:    It is insane.

Chat With A Vet:     And so that’s the hardest thing as a pet owner for me to decide what to feed my pets. Now Bill who adopted me, my cat who comes in, eats her food and leaves. Me and her have a different relationship. So, you know if I’m going to the 7/11 to buy a bottle of water or some snacks, I’ll pick her up food from the 7/11.

Dr. Gardner:    [laughs]

Chat With A Vet:     She doesn’t care. She’s been a stray her entire life so if I put any food in her plate, she’s going to put it in and then leave.

Dr. Gardner:    Once you name it, they’re not a stray.

Chat With A Vet:     That’s what people keep telling me. [laughs] So yes, I know there’s the Science Diet out there, there’s some really popular brand names out there. But let’s say you’re a pet owner on a budget. What typep of food can you give your pet because there are those… and the same grain-free food articles that I read and I really got scared that some of the food is very low-quality and it may actually be bad for your pet’s health. So it really scared me. So I’m trying the philosophy of OK, I’ll buy the most expensive brand that I can afford and hopefully he’s getting everything he needs. Bill whatever, but for Hulk I might. So how can a pet owner on a budget decide what type of food to get their pet.

Dr. Gardner:    When you want to look at the bag, you’re right. There’s a huge array of foods out there ranging from 10 bucks for a 50-pound bag to $50 for a 10-pound bag. So one of the guidelines, you don’t necessarily have to look for what I call the gimmick. Grain-free or gluten-free. Because those are really just gimmicks to get you to purchase their food based really on what’s happening in human medicine. But the one thing I tell everybody to look for, not all bag foods or sorry dog foods will have this, but you could look for the statement that says it is labelled by AAFCO which is the Association of American Feed Control Officials. They govern what goes into food. So, any of those foods that are stamped with that label, it means those foods have been quality- control sampled so they are balanced. They are complete nutrition for your pet. They have a good quality protein source, they will have a carbohydrate source, fats as well as trace minerals and vitamins that every dog will need to sustain good health. So as long as you have that stamp on there, you know that’s a good quality food. So it might be $10 bag of food but as long as it has been quality control tested by them, you’re good.

Chat With A Vet:     And this is quality control tested by AAFCO?

Dr. Gardner:    Yes, AAFCO.

Chat With A Vet:     Aaafco!

Dr. Gardner:    Yeah, and usually it will say something like this food is complete and balanced on the label somewhere. And then it will have that little logo somewhere. Usually on the corner somewhere, on the top or the bottom of it.

Chat With A Vet:     Interesting.  OK great. I never even knew about the AAFCO label. I mean that’s great. I know that’s something I’m going to start looking for, I actually have to buy Hulk dog food today. So, what’s better for a pet? There’s 2 different types of food out there. There’s the wet food that comes in the can, and then there’s the dry kibble.

Dr. Gardner:    Yeah.

Chat With A Vet:     Kibble’s easier to manage. I think it smells less. So, I like giving Hulk lamb kibble. His only thing and princess has one problem with it, it can’t get stale so I have to buy him small bags at a time. I can never bulk buy and then store it and give it to him. He always figures out that this was part of a big bag. So what’s better for him? Should I be giving him the wet food that’s coming out of the can? Should I be giving him the small batches of kibble because he likes it that way?

Dr. Gardner:    Personally, and as a veterinarian and from experience, we usually say dry food kibble is bed. It’s not as high in fat and carbs as your canned food is going to be. Also your dry kibble tends to actually last longer. When you open up a can of food they usually tell us that you need to use that within 36 hours. So when we look at feeding requirements with animals, as far as how many calories they should be taking in per day. If you’re doing one of the 16 ounce cans, most of your dogs will… and I’m talking a generalized dog at say 35 pounds, they’re only going to require for their calories in the entire day. They’re only going to require a third of that can. That’s per day. So you’re can feed more dry food so your pet. They actually feel full, they get that satisfaction of eating. Now, I do tell people. You can use the canned food as a treat, but a tablespoon here and there isn’t going to hurt them. And usually I tell people to allocate it in baggies, and you could store it in your freezer. That’s going to be the easiest way so it doesn’t go bad. And you could bring out a baggy at a time and feed them their treats throughout the week. So that’s kind of easier to do. You can kind of, especially if you’re on a budget, you can stretch it out and make it last and your pet can have a healthy treat on top of their food too.

Chat With A Vet:     Excellent. OK, great. Well those are all the questions I had for this session of Chat with a Vet with Dr. Gardner. Thank you so much for hanging out with us again today.

Dr. Gardner:    I appreciate it.

Chat With A Vet:     And for anybody listening if you want to have a similar conversation but just via live chat with a veterinarian you can text PET to 67076 to get started with Ask.Vet. It’s only $9.99 a month for unlimited live chats with a veterinarian. Thank you, we’ll talk to you soon.



Dogs diagnosed with Parvo are miserable and their owners devastated. We had a chat with a vet to figure out what to expect when your dog has Parvo and how to prevent it all from happening.

Because it is an incurable disease, options are limited. Having the diagnosis doesn’t mean there aren’t options. Veterinarians will usually sit down with you and have a sobering conversation about your options. You can still treat your sick puppy and help them feel more comfortable.

Dr. Roth, Veterinarian, shares three options for pet owners depending on the condition of the pet when they visit the clinic. They include hospitalization, medication and if all else fails, euthanasia.

Chat with a Vet – Hospitalization

The first option vets offer is hospitalization. This will include giving the dog IV fluids, antibiotics, round-the-clock monitoring, and medications to help with vomiting or diarrhea. Because there is no cure, the sick pet is then put on a very strong medication.

Hospitalization unfortunately is not cheap and if your pet is admitted, which you can expect in a really bad case of Parvo, you’ll end up paying thousands of dollars for treatment.

Chat with a Vet – Medication

Because hospitalization is expensive and not everybody can afford it, pet owners can take medicines home to administer to their pet themselves. You’ll be given a bundle of medications to slow down symptoms of vomiting and to help with diarrhea, and IV fluids to keep your dog hydrated.

Dr. Roth likes to call the home method ‘Parvo-to-go’ – a package she recommends to owners that include an injection of antibiotics and other medications to control symptoms and boost your pet’s immune system.

After that it’s the pet owner’s responsibility to give their dog the medication. Pet owners will need to get their pet to eat and hold down food while taking the medications. Price-wise, the medications can run from $400-$500 depending on how sick the pet is.

Chat with a Vet – Euthanasia

If the pet is extremely sick and your veterinarian is not confident that further treatment is in the best interest of the pet, they may recommend euthanasia. It’s a harsh option for pet owners who love their pets, but they have to remember that dogs dying from this disease will die a painful death. Although it is completely preventable, the reality is that it may be fatal.

Many pet owners struggle with the decision to euthanize, and regret not getting their dog vaccinated as a puppy. The fees for euthanasia vary, but generally range $100-$200. If you would like your pet’s ashes, a burial or other memorialization, there will be additional fees.

Chat with a Vet – Vaccination

Vaccinating your puppy properly is very important to avoid this potentially deadly virus. Saving money by not vaccinating your pet will prove more expensive in the long run if they get sick, and may not be enough to save your precious pup. The adage “an ounce of prevention” cannot be more true for your pup and Parvo.



Because Parvo doesn’t have a cure, it’s important to avoid crowded dog areas and to chat with a vet to recognize early signs of the virus.

Here are signs to watch for:

  • Lack of appetite – If your pet has not finished his entire serving of food, that could be the first sign that something is wrong. Most puppies are very excited about food, so if you notice they aren’t eating normally, that should peak your interest. If this continues, contact your vet.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea – These are the most typical signs of your pet being infected by Parvo. One or both of these symptoms can be a sign of Parvo, though it differs for every pet. Your dog may experience just vomiting, just diarrhea, or both.
  • Lethargy – Sometimes puppies carrying Parvo don’t show any signs. They may instead be a little tired or look lethargic. It may be such a subtle difference that it will be difficult to notice something’s wrong. In those cases, the puppy could be sick and spreading the virus even though they’re not showing any symptoms.

Chat with a Vet – Getting a Diagnosis

The next step to diagnosing Parvo is a physical exam by your veterinarian. If your veterinarian suspects Parvo, they will likely rule out other illnesses with a series of tests for Parvo (e.g., antibody, blood, stool) to examine your pet’s cells in their GI tract.

It’s really important to have a veterinarian’s opinion, and not just assume your pet has Parvo. Other common issues may mirror the symptoms of Parvo.

Chat with a Vet – Costs of testing for Parvo

If you are at a veterinary clinic during regular hours you’ll have your exam fee (e.g., $45 – $85). If you are at an emergency clinic you’ll have a more expensive emergency exam fee (e.g., $90 – $150). And at both a regular and emergency clinic you’ll have fees for each diagnostic test (e.g., antibody, blood, stool). Fees vary by clinic but they can be $60- $100 or more per test. If your pet is diagnosed with Parvo, they may need to be hospitalized and that is costly. A 24 hour hospital stay with IV fluids and medication can be $1,000 or more. Your veterinarian may also recommend an in-home course of treatment, similar to what your pet would have in a hospital, if you are able to provide a high level of care for your pet at home.

Navigating puppyhood doesn’t have to be daunting. With Ask.Vet you can live chat with a U.S. licensed veterinarian whenever you want. Get started by texting PET to 67076 and you’ll be connected to a veterinarian within minutes for only $9.99/month.

Chat with a Vet – Vaccinations

Parvo is completely preventable. Because there is no cure, it’s extremely important that new puppies are fully vaccinated. Parvo vaccines are given every 3 weeks, starting at 6-8 weeks of age up until the age of 16 weeks, then once again at one year of age. After that they get annual booster shots.

Vaccinating your puppy properly is very important to avoid this potentially deadly virus. Saving money by not vaccinating your pet will prove more expensive in the long run if they get sick, and may not be enough to save your precious pup. The adage “an ounce of prevention” cannot be more true for your pup and Parvo.