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Hi. I live in an apartment (no yard) I have a 12 year old pug she is healthy. My sister has a one year old mixed breed who spend one day at my place then about four days later we found out she had Parvo. After treatment she was fine, but I am now interested in getting another pug puppy, is there a time period I have to wait until I get a puppy? The sick dog with Parvo never urinated or pooed in my apartment at all but im still concerned the carpet or lounge may be affected? Is there a safe time period at all?
thanks for your time.

Answered Saturday 13 June 2015

Hi Kimberely,


 thanks for the question and I am glad to hear that your sister's dog survived.


Parvovirus is a nasty infection that causes severe and often life threatening gastrointestinal disease and can also cause heart disease if the virus localises in the heart. The virus is shed in enormous volumes in an infected dog's faeces and the route of infection to other dogs is via oral ingestion of virus particles in this faeces. We know that infected dogs will secrete virus in their faeces 3 days post-infection, which is often before they develop clinical signs of the disease. It is quite possible that your sister's dog was shedding parvovirus while it was at your house. On a positive note it is great that she did not defacate in the house as this is the main source of infection to other dogs. This will limit the amount of virus that you have in your house. 


Ongoing environmental contamination is the biggest risk of infection to naive animals, such as puppies. Physical removal of faecal material (not necessary in your case) followed by thorough disinfection with a 5% sodium hypochlorite (bleach) solution should decontaminate the environment. It is improtant to note that only hard surfaces can be decontaminated, organic material such as dirt and grass will hide the virus and make it very difficult to kill.


The best thing that you could do to avoid your new puppy contracting the disease is to make sure that it has had at least 2 parvovirus inocculations before coming to you house. We routinely vaccinate puppies at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age (or 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age). The parvovirus vaccine is highly effective at limiting infection with the virus so I would strongly recommend that you do not introduce a pupply that  has not had at least 2 innoculations. This means that you may have to leave the new puppy with the breeder for a little longer than usual. Make sure that you have a good socialisation routine organised as well as puppy pre-school so that you can capitalise on the socialisation period which is thought to be from 8-16 weeks in puppies.


Prevention is better than a cure as environmental contamination of porous surfaces (grass) if very difficult to achieve. 


Good luck with your new dog and post a picture when you get him or her,





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Dr Ant and Dr James

These two best mates share a love of animals and are the stars of Village Vets Australia.

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