We recently brought a new pet into our lives! Please welcome Moby, the Bengal cat. We put a pause on getting any more house pets after Bjorne almost died of Parvo. I was SO freaked out by that experience, I couldn't imagine bringing another animal into this environment until I was positive that we could provide a clean, healthy space.
It's been four years since that ordeal. I'd like to say that Bjorne bounced back and lived a vibrant, energetic, normal doggie life but the truth is he's never been the same. The vet told me he was too far gone to save, and it pains me to admit that she was right. The extensive inflammation caused brain damage and long-term cardiac issues that have have started loudly rearing their ugly head. Our beloved Bjorne is in the midst of his last days.
I try to make him comfortable. He's lethargic, but I coax him outside once in awhile to play fetch. He doesn't quite seem to grasp the concept, so instead I sit with a cup of coffee and we watch the birds and bees buzz around. As much as Bjorne misses the big things, he's utterly fascinated with small stuff like insects, leaves and rocks.
Creating a Safe Home after Parvo
Kraken, on the other hand, is healthy as a horse! I think a lot of that has to do with our vigilance after Parvo. When Bjorne first got sick, I asked the vet how to minimize the virus in our home and protect other dogs in our environment. Her response? “Bleach the crap out of everything!” The virus can live for up to three years and often spreads beyond that time as it transfers on and off the property via the soles of your shoes and from critters such as squirrels and coyotes.
We used Clorox Bleach to sanitize everything back then, and we still use it every month or so to remain vigilant. We wash the cuddly items with Clorox Bleach, but to sanitize pet food containers we soak them in a solution of 2 tsp of Clorox® Regular Bleach2 with CLOROMAX™ per gallon of water. However, we first wash the bowls with soap and water and then rinse to remove any dirt. Then we wipe the bowl with the solution. We wait for 2 minutes and then drain the solution and let the bowl air-dry.
To disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces such as the tile floor in the room where Bjorne likes to hang out, we prepared a solution of 1/2 cup of Clorox® RegularBleach2 with CLOROMAX™ in 3/4 gallon of water and then wipe the surface with the solution. Let sit for 10 minutes to kill the virus/prevent the spread, then rinse well and air dry.
The biggest hurdle for us was the yard area out back where Bjorne liked to spend a lot of time. I was hesitant to thoroughly treat that space because of all the plants, but we sucked it up and disinfected thoroughly with a spray bottle of the above solution, removed much of the dirt, and re-sodded for a fresh start.
I'm sad that our family experienced this just months after moving into our new home. It was likely the remnants from a former dog's illness in the area, and now I know to be extremely cautious about who and what my pets come in contact with. Nobody should have to worry about being safe and healthy in their own space, and I'm glad we can spread the word to help protect other dogs. If you're adopting for Adopt-a-Dog month, take precautions to clean your WHOLE home before bringing in your new pal – and don't let them interact with other pets until they've been vaccinated against Parvo! The vaccine is not 100% effective so it's always a good idea to give your young pup's immune system a chance to develop before arranging puppy playdates.
Animal shelters across the country have been opening their doors to dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey and Irma while others are cleaning up facilities post-storm. Animal hospitals and shelters list bleach as one of their top “wish list” items since it's an inexpensive solution to disinfect spaces and help prevent the spread of parvovirus1. If you're looking for a way to help, a donation of Clorox® Bleach2 with CLOROMAX™ will help keep these shelters clean and their furry friends healthy.
How do you make sure your animals have a clean space to play?