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Treatment for the highly contagious canine parvovirus now available in Billings

Treatment for the highly contagious canine parvovirus now available in Billings
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 12:37:56-05

BILLINGS — A first-of-its-kind treatment, targeted at the canine parvovirus, is available in Billings, and one veterinary clinic using the antibody said providers have seen great results.

“It is relatively new to the market,” Dr. Sadie Peters with Best Friends Animal Hospital said on Tuesday. “It’s a monoclonal antibody. So, it incites an immune response in the animal's body and creates antibodies to protect them against the virus.”

Treatment for the highly contagious canine parvovirus now available in Billings

For new puppies, the risk of contracting parvo is higher than for adult dogs because puppies have to wait until a certain age to receive vaccinations to protect against the virus.

The virus is highly contagious and can be fatal, so when a 12-week-old mini golden doodle named Lola was exposed to the virus a week and a half ago, her owner, Jen Johns, who works for MTN News, immediately called Best Friends Animal Hospital.

It's a decision she is very grateful she made.

“Oh I was scared. I had never encountered this before,” Johns said.

Treatment for the highly contagious canine parvovirus now available in Billings
Jen Johns and her puppy Lola.

Peters said the animal hospital started using the first USDA-approved parvo treatment this summer, and it was a perfect option for Lola.

Peters said it's been a great option in many cases for puppies exposed to, or testing positive, for parvo.

Treatment for the highly contagious canine parvovirus now available in Billings

“Treatment is based off of weight. Hospitalization typically is you know three to four thousand dollars depending on how long they’re here,” Peters said. “We have seen really great results from it. We haven’t had any that haven’t responded positively.”

According to Peters, hospitalizations are sometimes cut in half, and treatment for a 50-pound dog would cost about $600.

Lola never contracted the virus thanks to the treatment.

“I'm so thankful for them. They are up on the newest innovation and treatments for our fur babies because they’re part of our family,” Johns said.