If you’re looking at this then i guess you’ve just found out that your pup has Parvovirus. It’s incredibly upsetting, but it’s time to clean your house from top to bottom to prepare for the return of your pooch when he recovers. Relapse is a risk, so you should do your best to eradicate it. We found it was good at distracting us too.
The worst thing about this process is that bleach is the only thing that kills Parvo. I’ve contacted lots of pharmaceutical companies to find any other option, but none exist. This means your house is going to smell like a swimming pool for the next few days. Make sure you ventilate well and take breaks if you feel light-headed from the fumes. My skin is still really dry from all the bleach in the air, but it’s reassuring to know that i’m definitely clean.
Please note that you should also contact other people (friends, family, service-people) that they need to take similar measures if they have been in contact with the poorly puppy. Bleaching the bottom of shoes and throwing away clothes that have touched the dog is the bare minimum, i believe.
1. Throw all the toys, beds, leads, ANYTHING POROUS, the dog has been in contact with in the bin. That includes your clothes, unless you are willing to bleach them OR follow step 5. We threw away the clothes we were wearing on those days, including coats and shoes, as we weren’t aware that step 5 was an option then.
2. Put on some old clothes that you don’t mind ruining and go to the supermarket and buy lots of bleach, rubber gloves, eye protectors, Water sprayer and scrubbing brushes, etc. It’s also worth having a shallow bleach bath for you to step in when coming and going from your house. The more thorough you are, the less you spread the easily transferable virus.
3. Get scrubbing. If you have a laminate floor like us, be prepared to lose the shine off it. We literally scrubbed the polish off of the surface of the floor in the living room. You need to be extra vigilant about anywhere the pup has been and especially where he has pooped. We only had Dudley in our home for 36 hours, but we had to clean pretty much everywhere, as even though he had only been in a couple of rooms, we had been moving about the whole house. The bleach needs a soak time of 10 minutes on hard surfaces, but after that run a dry mop around to stop the edges of laminate flooring from curling up.
4. Fill the bathtub with a 1:32 bleach to water solution (we actually used a stronger mix to be safe) and throw in everything that can withstand such a potent mix. Anything that is plastic or metal can probably be salvaged with aggressive bleach treatment.
5. Ask your vet about Parvo Tablets – these are not available for public sale, but your vet should be able to sell some to you. These can go in your washing machine (1 tablet for small load, 2 for full load) and although they do contain bleach, they are fairly colour safe. You’re clothes will smell like bleach unless you also use a full cup of your normal detergent too.
6. Petaclean Parvo Tablets are also useful for cleaning carpets. It’s a real shame they are not on public sale, as dog owners would almost certainly invest in buying them, whether they have parvo cases or not. This virus is considered ubiquitous, so you need to clean regularly to be certain it’s not lurking. We mixed two tablets in two litres of water and let it dissolve in a different room for 30 mins – the fumes this gives off is intense and you DO NOT want to inhale them. After 30 mins had passed, I suited up and starting from the top (only our stairs and landing are carpeted) i scrubbed the living daylights out of the carpet. It lost a tiny bit of colour, but nothing that bothers us. Again, keep your house really well ventilated during this process. I was freezing cold during all the cleaning, but it’s the safest way. We also read that a good way to clean carpets was by putting parvo tablets into a steam cleaner. Certainly that would be effective, but i’m not sure what it would do to the steam cleaner or carpet.
7. Fill the water sprayer with the 1:32 bleach to water solution and get out in the garden. Anywhere the pup has been and especially where it has pooped needs to be nuked. And not just once. You should continue to bleach the areas regularly after as Parvo can live for up to 10 years in shaded soil. It is resistant to temperature changes. Dudley hadn’t really been outside, but we had taken him out there briefly and he had pooped there. It was on gravel, so i’ve removed all the gravel and bleached the site. If you have grass, i’m sorry, but you’ll have to bleach it. It’s a shame, but otherwise it’s still hanging there.
I also used a faint bleach solution on the leather sofa and it didn’t cause any harm. I’ll be repeating this process.
8. If you drove your puppy home from the breeder like we did, you’ll need to nuke the pedals/foot areas of your car with the spray. I also gave a light coating to the steering wheel and gear stick. We were aware that we’d come straight out of the breeders Parvo ridden house and probably had spread it about effectively in the first few hours. I also did the front garden path.
9. When you are finished, it’s time to wash yourself. Go shower thoroughly. Obviously you can’t bleach yourself, but you may already have had a coating from the air around you! You can’t kill Parvo with soap, but you can wash it away. wash your hair and rinse well. Scrub your body with a brush, etc.
10. If you visit you pooch in the vet, like we did, you need to take steps again after you see him/her. The vet made us walk through a bleach bath, but as soon as we got in, we stripped off and got our clothes into the wash with Parvo tablets. One thing i’m not sure of exactly is how to clean the Parvo off the dog when returning home. Obviously you can’t bleach and you don’t want to rinse a recovering puppy for too long. I guess continued isolation and rigorous cleaning is the only option until your pup is well enough to bathe properly. We never got to this stage with Dudley, so i cannot advise.
Please note that i take absolutely no responsibility for any damage to property caused by using this advice. If you’re rational, you will by now be expecting to lose or ruin some of your possessions. Be careful when cleaning your car, but also don’t expect to effectively kill the virus unless you are a bit brutal.
Some people may consider the above steps too much, but it’s worth it if you love your pooch. My brother has a beautiful Cavalier (that we are going to avoid for a while) and i don’t want there to be any risk to her.
ANY FURTHER ADVICE WELCOME. PLEASE COMMENT AND I”LL ADD TO THE LIST IF IT’S GOOD.
Thanks and good luck!