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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We (Noodle, DH and myself) are driving ten hours to spend the season with my in-laws on Friday. We called our family last night and found out that apparently, my brother-in-law's puppy recently had parvo. Thankfully, the puppy seems to have recovered. The puppy with parvo roamed my mother-in-law's house frequently--they are daily visitors.

After talking with my vet's office and explaining the situation, they recommended that we board Noodle instead of taking her with us. Well, it's officially last minute and I can't find a kennel with any openings. So, I called my sister-in-law who lives in the same neighborhood as my MIL and asked if we could stay with her. That's the plan right now--to bring Noodle and stay with SIL, where parvo puppy has never been.

I am stressing out about this though, can we, (the people) pick up the parvo virus on our shoes or clothes? I know the virus is incredibly hard to kill. Will she be safe at SIL or do I need to ensure that nobody touches the dog without washing their hands and changing their clothes (thus looking like a psycho)?

I am NOT taking our dog to MIL's house and I will NOT let there be any interactions between the dogs. DH thinks I am overreacting because Noodle has had all vaccines and is sixteen months old.

Does anyone have any other opinions or suggestions? I am really at a loss of what to do in this situation. I don't want to look crazy and I want to enjoy the holiday but I won't compromise my dog's health. Please help!

Edit: Sorry, guys for the ridiculous title. I wasn't thinking when I named the thread, and these are literally the words flashing around in my mind right now. It just feels like an emergency to me.
 

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It is safer to keep the parvo away from any dog. From my understanding (I am not a vet) - it is not considered as deadly to older puppies/dogs such as yours at 16 months old. If your dog has been to the park, dog park, pet stores, etc it has probably been exposed to parvo. The vaccines - if they have "taken" should provide your pup with immunity to parvo. You can take extra precautions such as taking your shoes off before entering both houses and changing clothes before playing with your dog however it is difficult to kill. You may not have time before you leave but you may consider a titer on parvo to check your dog's immunity.

This situation comes down to immunity and known exposure. Immunity is complicated but broken down it is your dog's immune system being exposed to parvo through the vaccine (a dead or altered parvo pathogen). The dog's immune system builds antibodies to the parvo pathogen it is exposed to. These essentially function as a "memory" for the body so when it "sees" parvo again it instantly kills it has antibodies against it and immediately goes on the defensive and parvo is unable to "take hold." The series of vaccines serves to build the puppy's immunity. Assuming the vaccines "took" your dog would be immune to parvo. While it is good to avoid exposure to a pathogen if accidentally exposed your dog would probably be fine. The only way to assure immunity is to titer the dog for the immunity level to parvo.
 

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If he's had all of his vaccines and his one year booster, I wouldn't worry about it. Parvo is mostly dangerous to young puppies and dogs with out any vaccines. Keep him at your SIL, and bleach your shoes/change your clothes/wash your hands before you let your dog see you if you want, but he is very likely going to be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is safer to keep the parvo away from any dog. From my understanding (I am not a vet) - it is not considered as deadly to older puppies/dogs such as yours at 16 months old. If your dog has been to the park, dog park, pet stores, etc it has probably been exposed to parvo. The vaccines - if they have "taken" should provide your pup with immunity to parvo. You can take extra precautions such as taking your shoes off before entering both houses and changing clothes before playing with your dog however it is difficult to kill. You may not have time before you leave but you may consider a titer on parvo to check your dog's immunity.
Thank you for your answer--

Noodle has been going to the local dog park since was six months old (after all vaccines). She also goes to dog daycare. So, in all likelihood, do you think she's already been exposed to the virus and obviously, she's okay? I hate to sound ignorant but I've never even heard of a titer--and you did an awesome job of explaining how it works but, where do I go to get this done?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If he's had all of his vaccines and his one year booster, I wouldn't worry about it. Parvo is mostly dangerous to young puppies and dogs with out any vaccines.
She is indeed completely up to date and got a one year booster early last month, actually. I wasn't too terribly concerned until I asked my vet's office about it and was told not to bring her. That brought out the "Noodle Emergency!" flashing panic lights. Thanks for your answer.
 

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Thank you for your answer--

Noodle has been going to the local dog park since was six months old (after all vaccines). She also goes to dog daycare. So, in all likelihood, do you think she's already been exposed to the virus and obviously, she's okay? I hate to sound ignorant but I've never even heard of a titer--and you did an awesome job of explaining how it works but, where do I go to get this done?
I assume my girls have been exposed. They have gone to the dog bakery, the dog park grand opening (over 2000 people and 1500 dogs), numerous visits to the dog park, dog daycare, dog boarding, pet stores, parks, dog runs here at the apt, all over the apt grounds - all the places other dogs have been countless times.
The only reason (and you may want to ask your vet what their reason is) I can think to keep your dog from a known exposure to the pathogen. Your dog has most likely already been exposed unknowingly (by going various dog friendly places). Although known exposure is usually something to be avoided and a tad extra caution may be warranted that defeats the purpose of vaccines - they are to induce immunity. Vaccines to not prevent exposure but when exposed allow the body's own immune system to easily fend off the pathogen.
It's the reason I didn't get the flu this year. I was exposed to a known case (without a flu shot) however I had the actual flu so I had natural acquired immunity. Although the flu is constantly changing so it will depend on how well my body generalizes the flu and how much the pathogen changes each year as to if I will keep my natural immunity. The flu shot induces the same type of response in your system as if the actual infection was there - minus the actual illness. I was crazy sick for over a week - with the vaccine there is not illness.
A titer is a blood panel that measures the level of immunity a person or dog has to any given illness. They are not usually routine however can be done at most vet offices. I don't know how long they take to get back (I've never done one) but I know they are fairly easy to get done. Ask your vet for one as you would like to know if your dog is immune to parvo.

Just for "fun" reading I'll through in a simplified immunity explanation as well (so you can better understand vaccines and why or why not your dog may not get an illness)
I'll use parvo as an example.
In general,
1) A vaccine to parvo is given
2) The immune system begins to recognize the vaccine as a pathogen (a dead or altered pathogen that cannot infect)
3) The immune system builds "antibodies" specific to the parvo pathogen - these can be thought of as huge flashing neon signs saying "Destroy This!"
4) The antibodies flag all of the pathogen as "Destroy This!"
5) The various components of the immune system are signaled through various channels and proceed to destroy everything tagged "Destroy This!"
6) Illness is averted

Without antibodies the body does not immediately recognize something as foreign or pathogenic. This why vaccines induce immunity - they make the body make "Destroy This!" signs before an actual threat is present. Antibodies tell the immune system what to destroy - without them the immune system does not know to destroy something.
The immunity given by vaccines allows the "Destroy This!" signs to be ready when infection presents itself and immediately signal the body to destroy the pathogen - before it has had time to make the dog sick. Vaccines don't prevent infection - they merely prepare the body for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I went ahead and dropped by my vet's office this morning to deliver a holiday card that I've been meaning to send. While I was there I went ahead and explained our situation to the tech on duty. Turns out, the young lady whom I talked to yesterday was a little over-zealous with her recommended precautions. The tech I spoke to today has over 25 years experience and basically told me most of the same thing I've been told on this thread. I did ask about the titer but she said there likely wasn't enough time to get results and that she really didn't think it was necessary with the precautions I'm planning on taking. She just told me to wash my hands before I interact with Noodle and practice basic hygiene.

I'll still be careful about limiting the exposure, but you are likely right, Charis. Noodle goes with me pretty much anywhere dogs are welcomed. I feel much better now that I have more knowledge. Thank you so much to everyone that answered--I really love these forums!
 

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I would take the precautions you mentioned, and not worry about it. I've dealt with Parvo twice, once with some 6-7 week old puppies, and once with a 10 month old. In the case of the puppies it turned out the person who whelped the litter bottle fed them the first few days so they got little to no colostrum. In the 10 month old there was a questionable vaccination history. In each case I had multiple adult dogs interacting with the dogs who got sick right up until they were ill, and then on and off during their illness, none of them became ill.

Frankly I wouldn't even be that concerned about the hand washing, other than it's a good thing to do in general :) The reality is you could step in a tiny piece of poop in their yard, and track it back to the other house on the bottom of your shoe, and you just exposed Noodle. My vet told me a piece of poop the size of a pin head can contain enough of the virus to infect over 20 dogs. Short of everyone changing their clothes, washing, etc chances are good Noodle will be exposed, and since she's vaccinated, she will be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow dantero--talk about an ubiquitous virus! That seriously boggles the mind! I am not entirely sure whether or not the puppy was vaccinated, but I sure am glad Noodle is. I am also so lucky and glad to have wonderful in-laws that understand that my dachsie is my best pal.
 

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It's ability to spread in such small amounts of feces is why some people think it's airborne. One scenario my vet gave me was someone with an infected dog walking through some poop in their yard, then going to the grocery store. You step where they stepped in the parking lot, and now you have a little chunk on your shoe that you bring home. That's also one reason with many breeders if you go to their home when they have pups you have to either take your shoes off before entering, or step on a towel soaked in bleach in a tub. It's not your hands or clothes they are worried about, it's where your feet have been. It's also a hardy virus, there is some dispute on how long it can live in the dirt but 6-12 months seems to be kind of the accepted time frame. And dogs can shed the virus in the stools for 2-4 weeks after recovering, so that makes that innocent little pile of poop in the grass who's owner didn't pick it up much less innocent, depending on where it came from.
I'm not saying this to freak you out though, but point out chances are good Noodle has been exposed before, and will be exposed again, and since she's vaccinated it really isn't worth stressing over to much.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm not saying this to freak you out though, but point out chances are good Noodle has been exposed before, and will be exposed again, and since she's vaccinated it really isn't worth stressing over to much.
No, I really do appreciate the knowledge and the good old doses of common sense. I do struggle with a panic and anxiety disorder--bet you'd never have guessed :wink:!

Most of my compulsions revolve around Noodle's health; I take worrying over that little girl to a whole new level.

But truly, I find arming myself with more knowledge is the best way to combat my anxiety so thank you for the good medicine!
 
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