Dealing with Parvo in a Multi-Dog Household
If you have multiple dogs and your veterinarian has recently diagnosed one of them with Parvo, then you’re probably freaking out right now. I mean, who wouldn’t? Canine Parvovirus is highly contagious and can spread from one dog to another simply through direct or indirect contact with contaminated feces. On top of that, it’s incurable and practically resistant to most household cleaners. However, as terrifying as that sounds, Parvo isn’t exactly unbeatable. With the right preventative measures, your household will be Parvo-free in no time!
Make Sure All Dogs Are Vaccinated
Puppies and unvaccinated dogs are the most at risk of contracting Parvo. Make sure all the dogs in your household—young or old—are vaccinated. There is no known cure for Parvo, and the only effective way to keep your dogs from getting infected or becoming asymptomatic carriers of the virus is through preventative vaccination. Veterinarians usually administer the Parvovirus vaccine as a 5-way vaccine called DHLLP. The vaccine provides immunity for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. According to the American Kennel Club, a series of shots is initially given to puppies between 6 to 8 weeks, then again when they’re about 10 to 12 weeks and 14 to 16 weeks. They will then receive a booster shot after one year and another after three years.
Disinfect the Entire Household
The Canine Parvovirus is incredibly resilient and can survive for long periods in harsh environments. So, you won’t be needing Mr. Clean for this one. Bleach is the only substance strong enough to eradicate all traces of the virus. You will first need to dispose of all the belongings of your infected dog: beddings, blankets, dog bowls, and toys. That will prevent the virus from spreading to the other dogs. Make sure to wear disposable gloves while doing so. Next, remove all feces, urine or vomit and proceed to mix 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Use the bleach mixture together with a brush to scrub and clean said areas. You can let the bleach sit for about 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing. Use bleach to disinfect all areas where your infected dog has spent time in. This includes kennels, stairs, rugs, and even your backyard. Infected dogs can shed the Parvovirus in their feces even before symptoms start to show, and the virus can survive within the soil for up to a year, so thorough cleaning is very important.
Isolate Your Recovering Dog
Once your dog comes home from the animal hospital, you’ll need to keep them isolated from the other dogs for at least a month to prevent the virus from spreading. Give them a nice, quiet area in the household where they can recover peacefully—one that’s inaccessible to the other dogs. Always use disposable gloves when tending to your recovering dog and make sure to consistently clean after them. And of course, never forget to shower them with TLC throughout the recovery process. Your beloved fur-baby will be back to chasing boomerangs at the dog park before you know it!