What A Pain! The Truth About Dealing With A Potentially Deadly Virus

Having a dog rescue means we’ve been dealing with deadly viruses for over 8 years. Parvovirus has many issues in common with our current virus. This understanding of viruses is why we chose to close our shop to visitors. This is also why we sanitize our rescue shop regularly (at least once a day).

While we can’t tell you what to do in your personal lives, we wanted to share how we handle quarantines.

As much as we love our dogs, you (hopefully) love your human family even more. Protecting the vulnerable in our lives is what is most important. Hopefully sharing this information will offer some insight as to what the authorities are trying to achieve with the quarantine requests and orders.

  1. Education – About the parvo virus: it is invisible, just like COVID-19, you can’t see the shedded cells. The virus is spread through shedded cells. For Parvo once a dog has the virus they undergo treatment for at least 10 days, but up to 21 days. During this time they are contagious and are kept in a medical quarantined area. Once the dog is no longer showing symptoms of the virus, they remain in quarantine for an additional 2 weeks. This is because they are shedding the cells for 2 weeks even after they are done with the sickness. Because the now recovered dog is still contagious, they are kept from the general population and any dog at risk is kept in a separate healthy quarantined area until they are no longer vulnerable, or until they have their shots.
  2. Quarantine – Many times when you come to our shop you will see new puppies in their own pack and play yard, inside of another play yard. That’s because puppies are our most vulnerable dogs. Parvo is in many places and many dogs come into contact with shedded cells. These dogs are not at risk of contracting the virus because they have been immunized for it. However, these dogs can be carriers and if allowed to interact with vulnerable dogs, they could infect them. Likewise, if a human has been to a different shelter, a dog park, a breeder, or any other place where there are other dogs, they could have the virus on them. This is why our puppies can’t be held and aren’t allowed to touch any area that hasn’t been sanitized. This requires a lot of extra effort, and some say that we are over the top, but since instilling these simple measures in 2014, we have lost zero dogs to Parvo.
  3. Protective Equipment – We have a medical quarantine area at our rescue. This is typically in a separate room. There is a disinfectant solution that we step in before we enter and leave. We use bleach and water. We have gowns we put on before we enter and remove to be washed once we leave the room (at the door). We wear gloves and dispose of them in a covered container before we walk out. If there is any concern that a puppy came into contact with a person, an item or an area we use a virucidal cleaning agent (not on the people).

Again, as much as we love our dogs we know you probably (hopefully) love your family more. We hope this extremely simple explanation of how seriously a deadly virus is handled by our rescue can help explain the measures being taken by the authorities.

This post is not meant as a medical reference article. And in an effort to keep it readable and not a tool to deal with insomnia, we left out the nitty gritty details.

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