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Thread: Clean up after parvo

  1. #1
    Xie is offline
    Senior Member Xie's Avatar
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    Feb 2009

    Clean up after parvo

    Quote Originally Posted by briteday View Post

    Once you have had a case of parvo in your home it would be wise to do a thorough cleaning and there is a sticky at the top of the health forum with some basic guidelines. Also, it would be very unwise to bring another young puppy (or an elderly dog with an aging immune system) to your home for at least one year. Parvo is highly contagious and lives in the environment (dirt, carpeting, upholstry, floors, ANYTHING the infected dog had contact with) for at least one year, maybe longer.
    I spoke to 5 separate vets about this and they all disagreed with your statement.

    See, I fostered two puppies for a rescue group, both of which came down with parvo within 4 days of arriving at my house. It has a happy ending for them, they both made it and went on to be adopted.

    I was supposed to be bringing my own two puppies home 2 months later and was very worried. I spoke with the vet I work with and she if I had bleached the house not to worry. Apparently Parvo can only live inside for about a month anyway, so if you bleach and then wait a month you are more than fine.

    I spoke with another vet that my mom uses and he said the same thing. His only extra advice was to keep them away from where the parvo puppies went outside but that he thought by two months it probably wouldn't be a big deal as long as I had cleaned my yard.

    When I brought my first pup home she ended up with a 104 fever 5 days later and of course my first panicked thought was "Parvo!". It happened at night so I rushed her to the E-Vet. I told them the situation with having had parvo puppies in my house and they asked if my girl had any vomit or diarrhea. She didn't so they said it probably wasn't parvo (okay, I knew this logically but when it's your own you don't necessarily think clearly) but would test anyway. Well, it wasn't parvo, just a bad UTI and she went home the next day almost 100% better.

    During the time with the e-vet though I asked the admitting doc, the doc who took care of her the next day, AND the one doc consulted with another just to make sure. All three of those docs also said that since it had been two months at that point and I had bleached they had absolutely no concern that it was parvo, even before the test results came back.

    Take all of this as you will but that's 5 separate vets who all told me not to worry as it had been two months and I had bleached well. Each vet (minus the three working together) was unaware of what the others had suggested and each gave me the same answer. One of my pups is also a black/tan breed which are for an unknown reason more susceptible to parvo than the average dog and still no parvo issues. They've been here for almost 3 months now and are doing just fine and even using the area that parvo puppies did.

    Before panicking people that they can't get another dog for a year I'd suggest they talk with their own vet or multiple vets and see what they say.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Feb 2007

    Re: Clean up after parvo

    Since you foster animals and are familiar with proper disinfection technique it is probably acceptable for you to have young or elderly dogs in your home after 2 months or so. However, the average dog owner may not have as much understanding of proper disinfection as you do, how to isolate a sick animal so the viral particles are not spread, and how to minimize contamination of the entire property. Most people might not consider that anything on your shoes or clothing (dog eliminated or vomited on carpeting inside for instance) can be carried to your outside deck, grass, dirt. So therefore they may assume that disinfecting the outside areas where the dog normally eliminated is good enough. And then there's the issue of people like me who have acres of property. How to disinfect that?

    The bottom line with parvo disinfection is that you want to minimize the viral load because you cannot completely get rid of it. This virus is normally found everywhere and it is resistant to most cleaners except for bleach. If you can't bleach it (and leave it wet for at least 20 minutes) then it is best to dispose of the object. For items like carpeting and furniture indoors the virus will slowly dissipate within about one month depending on the viral load shed by the particular animal. Outdoors parvo can survive disinfectants, freezing temperatures, and normal weather conditions. And it thrives in warm conditions. The best anyone can do is to disinfect known areas of elimination as well as human pathways where virus particles could have been carried on shoes. That means scrubbing your deck and walkways, disinfecting your patio... And then thoroughly hose down the entire yard on a weekly basis so that it is soaking wet and can drain naturally, taking the viral particles with the water deeper into the soil.

    It is possible to house young animals within a few months after a parvo outbreak. But none of the shelters or rescues in our area will touch a foster home for one year after a known parvo case. And with the more recent strain that can also infect cats they are also scrutinizing anyone who considers fostering the opposite species after parvo as well.
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being wise is learning from others' mistakes.
    Cally- 14 yo papillon, Moose the puppy, McKenna 8 yo pomeranian grand-dog, and chickens

  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2009
    Vancouver Island

    Re: Clean up after parvo

    I agree despite what vets tell you as I've dealt with parvo. The only thing known that can kill the virus is bleach in heavy doses and there's no guarantee all areas are covered. For example. A case of 15 sled dogs being kept outdoors had a sudden outbreak and even with gallons of bleach and soaking the top two inches of ground covering a vast area and destroying all bedding, all things known that was touched by any of the dogs we still lost three out of the 15. After a cold winter where temperatures plummeted to 40 below the three that were lost were replaced, only to have one of them come down with parvo come spring. It's contagious, persistent, resilient, lethal and within a period of 8 weeks wiped out 35% of all dogs on the island I live on. The comments made about not allowing other dogs near an infected area for a year is a good one and that's exactly what we did. Problem solved.

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