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Parvo protection.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi Dr,

My Golden is 7 weeks now. I will be taking him home next week after he's seen the vet. I don't know if he's had his 6 weeks shots or not but the breeder is extremely professional and highly recommended with 20 yrs experience.

I'm petrified about parvo.

I have an area of the front lawn that NO other dog has visited where he will pee. But, while I'm at work I will have a puppy sitter feed/water/pee him twice a day. Obviously she has other dogs.

I've read about parvo. All a dog has to do is sniff a shoe that stepped in poo 9 months ago and they can die painfully.

Please tell me...

1) how big of a risk do I face in reality?
2) How can I lessen the risk?
3) At what age do they receive enough immunity to walk in the park?

Thanks

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for asking such a great question!

Parvo is much more common in some areas than others. A great idea would be to phone a few vet clinics in your area and ask how often they see cases of parvo. This can give you an idea of how prevalent the virus is in your area.

Most likely, the risk of parvo will be very small. A dog gets parvo by ingesting the virus. So, usually where we see dogs getting parvo is if a dog has stepped in diarrhea (that has parvo virus in it) and then licks his paws. He cannot get it from just sniffing a parvo infected area.

In theory the virus can stick around for many months which is why we advise people to clean things thoroughly with bleach if they have had a parvo positive puppy in the house. However, the chances of your dog just randomly picking up parvo from the bottom of someone's shoe are small.

Here's another factor that is in your favour...parvo is much more common in certain breeds. For some reason black and tan breeds like rottweilers and dobermans are more susceptible. While any dog can get parvo, Goldens are not as commonly affected as other dogs.

To answer your second and third questions, you can lessen the risk by only taking your new pup to areas that you know are safe. Stay away from public parks or areas where you know that lots of dogs defecate. The pup will have decent protection within a week of the second vaccine (likely given at 10-12 weeks of age), and very good protection after the third vaccine which will be given a month later.

Thank you for being so concerned about your new pup. I hope everything goes well for you!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you Dr that puts my mind at ease a bit.

I'm still unsure about the risk a puppy sitter poses. She will be sitting for other dogs and picking up after then. I have read that parvo can exist asymptomatically.

What do you think?


Thank you.
Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, yes, sorry for forgetting that part of your question!

An important question to ask your petsitter is whether all of her other clients are vaccinated (and whether she has seen proof of vaccines.)

If so, the risk is minimal.

An animal really can't be a carrier of parvo or exist asymptomatically. In theory, if Dog A stepped in Dog B's diarrhea (who had parvo) they could have virus particles on their foot and then if your dog licked that dog's foot then Max could get it. But there is a lot that has to happen in order for that to occur.

Going back and reading your question, I see that the pet sitter won't actually be taking Max with other dogs. What I would suggest is asking her to leave her shoes outside (in case she stepped in parvo-virus-laden stool) and that will virtually eliminate the risk.

Hope that answers the question for you!

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

last last last question I promise.

Is there any requirement or benefit for her to wash her hands in soap or alcohol sanitizer?

Thanks for everything

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry for the delay..I had gone to bed after my last reply.

While it won't hurt to have her wash her hands it is probably a little bit of overkill.

You're very welcome!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.