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Canine Parvovirus: Most Dangerous Myths

Parvovirus is a deadly disease for dogs. Every responsible dog owner wants to protect the beloved family dog ​​from this miserable disease. However, despite the best and most loving intentions, there are misconceptions, myths, and wrong advice that can make your dog’s recovery difficult.

One thing that many people don’t realize is how serious and contagious this disease is and unfortunately this can lead to many practices that can harm a dog’s chances of survival, chances of staying free of parvo if it recovers and chances of keeping the infection away from other dogs. So here’s a second list of dangerous misconceptions about parvo. You can find the link to part one at the end of this article.

1. My dog ​​must have been in the presence of another sick dog for this to happen. Not so. You can bring this highly contagious and deadly disease to your dog by touching anything that has been touched by someone who has touched something that the dog has touched. This is not your fault, and neither are the things you have to do when cleaning up a dog’s waste with parvo. And please don’t feel bad because you need food. Just for consideration, it’s good to understand that when your dog has parvo, you clean up after it, then touch the handles of the sink faucet, the towel you dry your hands with, the countertop where you put the treatment, etc. This happens again later, when you are not treating your dog, and others in the house have to use these things as well. People need to go shopping, to school or work, etc., and the disease accompanies anyone who has been in the vicinity. Parvo is everywhere. It is not your fault at all. The disease simply exists, so if you do your best, that is all you can do. This brings us to myth number two:

2. I washed my hands. I am no longer a carrier of the disease. It would be great if this were the case, but washing your hands does not kill the virus.

3. I can use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer to clean my hands. Well, there are three things to consider about antibacterial soap. It kills only a few types of bacteria, it can cause bacteria to mutate in ways we don’t have antibiotics for (refer to deadly carnivorous bacteria), but more importantly when it comes to parvo – parvo is not bacterial. It is viral. That means your antibacterial hand soap won’t do much good in that area. It cannot kill the virus. All you can do is physically remove some of the virus from your hands, but not all of it. Also note: while hand washing is always good practice, your sink is now infected with parvo. So is the bar of soap and the towel you just used. Your sink will need to be bleached as often as possible, which can most conveniently be accomplished by purchasing a spray bottle from a hardware or garden store and filling it with the solution. You can leave it on the bathroom counter if you want. (Don’t forget to open the windows when using bleach.) If you have children in your home, it is best to keep them where they cannot breathe the fumes.

4. I can use rubbing alcohol to clean my hands. Unfortunately, this is not enough. A resistant virus like parvo needs half a cup of bleach in a gallon of water. This solution can lighten your carpet and clothes, but unfortunately, that is what is necessary.

5. My dog ​​has been exposed to parvo! You better get him vaccinated right away. If a dog is vaccinated within two weeks of contracting the disease, recovery can be more difficult and, in some cases, impossible. Instead, you’ll want to prepare your home and garden the way you would if you were recovering from parvo (bleach). Then you can use the Parvaid kit prevention, which may very well prevent your dog from becoming symptomatic, and if he has become symptomatic, it can help him recover. You can still vaccinate afterwards if you wish, but you will want to share your concerns with your vet. You should always know about possible exposure before giving the injection so that you can determine if it is safe to administer.

6. My dog ​​is cured. You can no longer get the disease. Unfortunately, this is not true either. I have seen dogs relapse even a year after recovering. But that doesn’t mean that your dog can never be sure. Prevention and preparation are excellent protections against this deadly disease. When prevention becomes a habit, your dog is safer and healthier than it can be.

Copyright 2009 Jana Ortiz

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