This month’s Patient of the Month is really a story of bad luck. Cagney, a 5 month old yorkie has certainly giving his pet parents a reason to celebrate this year. His family, having a history of rescuing and caring for animals did everything right but still have a tough story to share.
Earlier this year, after rescuing and treated a German Shepherd with Parvovirus his family took the necessary precautions to treat the family areas and linens with bleach.
Many months later, they rescued another dog that surprised this family with 3 puppies; Bogart, Cagney and Chaplin. Being acutely aware of the realities of treating disease in pets they were diligent in ensuring their home was safe and that the pups received the appropriate medical and vaccine care. However, what our owners were not aware of was just how persistent the Parvovirus can be.
Parvovirus is a hearty viral disease that is life threatening to dogs and puppies. It is transmitted from one animal to another through contact with infected feces. While bleach is the only thing that will kill the virus it can live in the ground for several months. Shaded areas are considered contaminated for seven months whereas areas with good sunlight exposure should be considered contaminated for five months. In order to remove Parvovirus from your yard there needs to be no living material, such as grass or plants left. The ground must be saturated with a solution of one part bleach to 32 parts water or one-half cup of bleach per gallon of water.
Before our owners knew it, their puppies had picked up the Parvovirus from their yard. All three pups were hospitalized in our intensive care and one by one fought their fight. Sadly, not all were successful.
After a week of care, Cagney, the largest of the pups was sent home. Perhaps it was his early vaccine boosters that helped him battle this bug or perhaps simply his size but now, 5 months old Cagney is doing well. Since the incident, the family's 2 acre yard has been treated to the roots and the Parvovirus and is believed to be clear.
This holiday season will certainly be one to celebrate. Cagney’s is a story to educate on the voraciousness of the Parvovirus and the importance of understanding all we can do to protect our animal community. Thank you to Cagney’s family for letting us share this story and for partnering with us in the care of your pets.
For more information about Canine Parvovirus: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/parvovirus