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Is your poodle dog vomiting blood and excreting bloody (red), watery diarrhea?  There’s a possibility that she may have the parvovirus (AKA parvo).

First things first: If your poodle dog is having any persistent vomiting or diarrhea – especially if you find blood in the vomit or diarrhea – get your dog to the vet ASAP.  It’s the only way to definitively diagnose what’s wrong with your dog so that you can set the right course of treatment.  In general, the more quickly you start the right treatment, the better chance your poodle dog has of recovering (especially if it’s parvo).

What’s more, your poodle is likely to dehydrate very quickly if she’s dealing with bloody vomit and diarrhea – this is especially true if she’s a toy poodle, mini poodle, or a puppy or any size.  So the quicker you get her to the vet, the faster they can put her on a lifesaving IV.

(NOTE: Parvo is generally a puppy disease, so if your vomiting poodle is a puppy, parvo is a concern.)

Here are the main symptoms of parvo:

–Your poodle is lethargic or depressed.. This is probably one of the first things you notice.  I had a puppy who got parvo – my first clue was that he wouldn’t leave my lap the night before he got sick.

–Your poodle won’t eat.

–Your poodle won’t drink.

–Your poodle is vomiting… and perhaps the poodle is vomiting blood.

–Your poodle has diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea. There’s also a telltale strong stench to the diarrhea.

Notice I used the word lifesaving early. That’s because parvo is a very serious virus that attacks the intestines (hence the bloody vomit and diarrhea). If you don’t treat your poodle puppy using IVs, he or she will likely die. And even with good supportive care, your poodle still needs to fight the virus on her own, because there is no cure.

As such, you’ll likely see a parvo reatment plan that includes:

–Keeping your poodle hydrated using an IV.
–Keeping the vomiting to a minimum by introducing an anti-vomit medicine.
–A course of antibiotics to help your poodle puppy fight the illness (but again, this actually won’t “cure” parvo).
–If diagnosed early enough, some vets use Tamiflu to help fight parvo.  (The jury is still out on whether this works.)

Your poodle puppy will need to spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks at the vet. That’s the best place for her, and it gives your puppy the best chance of surviving parvo.

Naturally, you can visit often.  You may choose to bring in an item (such as a t-shirt) that smells like you to comfort your puppy while he’s fighting parvo.  Be prepared to wash your hands and the bottom of your shoes when you leave the room your puppy is in. Because it’s such a contagious, hardy virus, your vet won’t want you tracking it around.

Some people choose to support their poodle puppy at home.  This is risky.  If you do this, talk to your vet about how to support your pup.  She won’t be able to eat without vomiting, so you’ll likely have to use fluid therapy – such as Pedialyte – to keep her hydrated.  You may be instructed to give special fluids under the skin using a needle.

When your poodle puppy recovers from parvo and is able to start eating again, your vet will instruct you to feed a very bland diet.  That’s because your poodle’s intestinal/digestive tract is damaged.  Your vet will probably give you a prescription diet, or he or she may recommend that you feed something bland like baby rice and a little boiled, skinless chicken.

Don’t give your poodle puppy her regular food or treats. And for sure don’t give her any table scraps, as they’re too hard on her system.  Your vet will tell you how long to feed the bland diet and when you can slowly start re-introducing your poodle puppy’s regular diet.  Just take it slow and let your puppy heal.

It’s very tough to see a poodle puppy get sick, weak and thin due to parvo.  Just remember: The faster you get a puppy with parvo to the vet, the better chance you’ll have of seeing your pup grow to be a bouncy, playful, healthy adult!

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