PET HEALTH

Parvo Treatment Cost: What to Expect

Four minutes Oct 31, 2022
A Norfolk terrier lies on its back while a vet presses a stethoscope to its chest. A Norfolk terrier lies on its back while a vet presses a stethoscope to its chest. A Norfolk terrier lies on its back while a vet presses a stethoscope to its chest.

A canine parvovirus (CPV) diagnosis can be scary and expensive. In the case of infection, a parvo treatment cost can cost thousands.

Yes, it’s a lot of money, but parvo is a highly contagious virus that weakens dogs’ immune systems and can be fatal, so it’s important to treat it. If you catch parvo early enough and begin aggressive treatment immediately, your dog has a good chance of surviving. Keep reading for a breakdown of what it costs to treat parvo, as well as how to prevent parvo.

How Much Does Parvo Cost?

Altogether, parvo can cost upward of $2,100 for the tests and treatment, including multiple overnight stays.3 Here’s how that price tag breaks down:

Parvo diagnosis cost

Your vet will administer a simple fecal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test to help determine if CPV is the culprit.4 This parvo test costs between $40 and $100, plus $130 for additional blood work.3

Parvo treatment cost

Once your dog is diagnosed with parvo, they’ll need to be hospitalized so a vet can care for and monitor them. They’ll be given IV fluids, any medications to help their symptoms, and potentially antibiotics to keep infections at bay. An itemized bill for parvo treatment could look something like this:3

  • Hospitalization: $600 per night
  • IV fluids: $220
  • Anti-diarrheal medication: $10 – $15
  • Anti-nausea medication: $10 – $20
  • Antibiotics: $25 – $30

Lodging and quarantine from other animals is by far the largest expense. At the lower end, you can expect to pay around $860 for hospitalization and treatment costs. That’s if your pup only has to stay a single night at the clinic. In all likelihood, it’ll be three days of hospitalization or more to administer treatment and observe your infected dog’s recovery. That puts a more realistic estimate at $2,100 or more.3  

The cost to treat parvo certainly isn’t cheap, but treatment for CPV has an 80% – 90% survival rate.3 As long as your dog begins treatment quickly, the odds are good that they’ll triumph over the parvovirus

A vet pets the face of a Siberian husky, who sits on an exam table and winks at the camera.

Parvo complications cost

Just because your pup gets through a CPV infection, doesn’t mean they’re in the clear. CPV attacks the digestive system, and in some cases the heart, which could cause lasting damage to the organ. Depending on which strain your puppy has, they may be at risk for long-term complications of parvo.5

Intestinal CPV:

This strain of parvovirus sits in the intestine’s lining, covering and killing cells needed to digest food. Once your dog has healed from intestinal CPV, they may still have a harder time digesting nutrients and staying hydrated.

Prioritize feeding your dog high-quality food and encouraging them to drink more water if they had intestinal CPV. Buying nutrient-dense food may be more expensive than standard kibble, but it’s worth it. You’re helping your dog absorb nutrients and stay healthy longer.

Cardiac CPV:

Dogs who beat cardiac CPV don’t often show signs of lasting complications until much later. But the damage to the heart means they are at a higher risk for congestive heart failure (CHF).

Treating congestive heart failure costs thousands of dollars for diagnosis and treatment.6 Your dog will also probably need to go on medications, which are $50 – $100 per month.

Pet insurance covers prescription medications and may also help with the costs of CHF diagnosis and treatment.2

Parvo Vaccine Cost

A parvo vaccine costs between $30 and $50. The parvo immunization (also called the DA2PP or DHPP vaccine) is considered a “core vaccine” and can protect your puppy from this virus. These core vaccines are administered in rounds from 6 to 16 weeks. A parvo vaccine booster is administered 1 year later, and additional boosters should be given every 3 years following.3

While somewhat of an ongoing cost, paying for parvo vaccinations is significantly cheaper than paying the cost of treatment. Plus, it spares your dog the trauma of illness and recovery.

The best thing pet parents can do for your furry companion is to keep their vaccines up to date. The second-best thing would be to get dog insurance. Accident and illness coverage from MetLife Pet Insurance means you could be reimbursed for some or even all of the parvo treatment cost.1,2 Plus, with optional wellness coverage, a MetLife policy could also cover the cost of vaccination.2 Learn more about what pet insurance covers to see if it’s right for you and your pooch. Get a quote for pet insurance today.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Parvo Treatment Cost and Success Rate for Dogs and Puppies,” Canine Journal

4 “Canine Parvovirus,” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

5 ”The Long Term Effects of Parvo in Dogs,” Vetinfo

6 ”Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) in Dogs,” GreatPetCare

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