This past week I was mortified to hear that a local off leash dog park was the source of a parvovirus exposure. Luckily the owner of the infected dog was able to let the public know about their sick dog, but I just want everyone to realize how dangerous this can be. As a breeder, I make sure my puppies leave the house with at least their first, and sometimes second, set of shots. But it takes a bit for a puppy’s immune system to react to the vaccine. Believe it or not, one of my puppy buyers called me less than a week after taking their puppy home, telling me their puppy had parvovirus. I had vaccinated the litter at least a week prior. What they didn’t know was that a dog they had fostered the year before had parvo and the virus was still in their yard and carpet.
Did you know that parvovirus can live on surfaces, dirt, grass, carpet, etc., for 10 years or more? The virus is extremely hardy and has been found to survive even in very cold or very warm temperatures. Bleach can kill it, but who bleaches a dog park? If you have a young puppy, don’t take them to an off leash area. There is no way to know what they are getting exposed to. The same can be said for your adult dogs, so use caution there. Here is a great article on the virus, causes, symptoms and treatment.