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samisfree's picture
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 Hello all! I'm new here, and would like to ask a few questions. Well, first off let me say that I'm not officially a Dobie owner yet. I've been researching the breed and gathering as much info as I can in the past couple of months, and I have to say, I think I'm in love!!! I have also enjoyed this site very much. I love to read all of your wonderful stories and see the pics of your babies. :) The amount of information here is amazing.

 On to the questions... My family and I have an opportunity to purchase a pup in 2 weeks. I can't tell you how excited I am! My only concern is the dreaded parvo.

 3 years ago we moved into our home, a couple of months later our fox terrier gave birth to a litter of 6. Everything was going great, all were healthy and had their first set of shots. Eventually we had to let them venture out into the back yard (which we foolishly assumed was safe.) Still, all was fine. We found homes for 3 of the pups in a short time, the remaining 3 began showing symptoms about a week later. We took them to the vet and low and behold, they were diagnosed with parvo. We did everything we could to save them, but sadly we were not successful. We were devastated. Luckily, the 3 that had been adopted hadn't contracted it yet.

 As you can imagine, this is a HUGE red flag in deciding whether or not to even consider bringing home a new puppy. I was just wondering if any of you have had anything similar happen.  Has anyone here successfully treated their home and yard for this virus and actually gotten rid of it and raised a happy and healthy pup? It's been 3 years, I have read many conflicting reports on how long the virus can actually live in the ground, some say 6 months, others say 10 years. We plan on using bleach to treat the entire yard, at least twice. Our carpet and other flooring has since been replaced and everything inside the home has been cleaned. Our other 2 dogs (6yr old rat terrier, 5yr old fox terrier) are healthy and up to date on shots.

Like I said, before We will even consider bringing the pup home, I wanted to get a few opinions on the matter. Thanks for your time!!!  

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to be thorough! ;)

I just skimmed through your post I'm running out of the house and not sure how long ago you had the parvo. I would be very wary of bringing home a Doberman puppy into an area that has had parvo. If you research Dobermans are more susceptible to parvo then some other breeds! I recently had a litter last Nov. my sister had parvo at her house the summer before and I wouldn't let her even come over AT ALL, not Thanksgiving, Christmas I finally allowed it in March which was almost a year after the episode at their house. All my puppies had been placed and the one I kept had been vaccinated. Parvo can be carried by shoes, by tires of your car (that is how their dogs got it) I personally wouldn't take the risk. Another thing is you will want to be honest with the breeders that you are considering purchasing from, if they have no concern or ask no questions then this should raise flags in your head. I hope to go through your post again when I get back home but please be very careful Dobermans are highly susceptible to Parvo.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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wait.. don't leave yet..

What about the parvo inoculations we give them save them from this disease?? doesn't that immune them?

AlphaAdmin's picture
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The inoculations do give immunity Lady Kate, but it takes the whole series, and then I'd still worry.

Samisfree, don't mind rnddobermans. She's a master breeder and those guys are highly protective of their puppies. And I agree, if your breeder isn't as hesitant I'd be suspicious. You might inquire as to the possibility of the breeder keeping the puppy until vaccination is complete - just to be sure.

Lady Kate's picture
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We got Sofia last August, not knowing what inoculations she had been given. We immediately took her to our vet where she was checked for heart worm and inoculated against rabies and parvo.

Do you recommend a follow up for parvo?

Thank you for your input

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Lady Kate,

I'd bring it up with the vet. Shots are hard on anyone so it's best to avoid uneeded ones. Your vet should know what dog are at risk for in your area and advise on any further immunization.

samisfree's picture
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Thank you for your replies.

 I was up-front with the breeder, and told her our situation and she did seem quite concerned. She said she would get with her vet for another opinion and get back with me. I also asked if she would be able to keep the pup at her home until she was fully vaccinated but unfortuanely she and her family will be going on vaction in 4 weeks and won't be back until September. Bummer. 

 I called every veterinarian's office in our county, including our family vet, and basically got a different answer from each, which lead me to the conclusion that no one REALLY knows for sure how long the ground can be contaminated. They all did reccomend treating the areas with a clorox and water solution. I assume the breeders vet will likely have the same answers as all of the ones I contacted. 

 Ultimately, I think I have decided against bringing home a new family member. :( It's just too risky.

 

                                                      Thanks again!!!

I'm sorry about your decision. Make sure you really look into it beside taking anyones word for it. You need to feel comfortable with your decision.  I couln't find anywhere in your post that said how long it had been since you had experienced this, that to me would tell alot.

I don't find it odd that you had differnet opinions from all the vets offices you had contacted either. I was so leary after my sisters experience that I just thought I would not risk anything at all with the litter I bred. I was always under the understanding that once vacinated that they would be protected (providing they had their yearly boosters) but this was not the case for my sisters dog. She had 2 dogs 1 puppy that hadn't been fully vaccinated and a adult that had been. Both came down with it and luckily both survived. The puppy first then the adult after. They had originally picked it up off of her son going to a farm not even getting out of his truck that a dog had died of the parvo. He brought it back to the house on the tires of his car, so they say. Even so if he had walked around outside on the ground he got in his car and drove back to his house and carried it on his shoes. In my opinion nothing I wanted to risk with my dogs. It was extremely hard to tell my sister whom I love greatly that we couldn't come over or she couldn't come to my house but I had 5 puppies that the owners were counting on me to protect.

samisfree's picture
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 Thanks for your response rnddobermans. :)

  I really don't know what else I can find on the subject, I've talked to vets and scoured the internet. Maybe finding some medical papers might give some more info. I have found a few posts from people (mostly various breeders) on different sites that have claimed they have successfully prevented other puppies from getting the virus after an outbreak by using the clorox solution. It's just so iffy. Even keeping her in the house and paper training her until she is fully vaccinated scares the daylights out of me, and it wouldn't allow me to socialize her properly. Not to mention it would feel a little cruel to not let her play in the sunshine.

 I don't blame you for being so protective of your puppies! Parvo is one of the most awful things I have ever witnessed and I couldn't bare putting another dog through that as long I live. It's a scary world out there for pups!

 Oh, before I forget to mention it again, it's been 3 (almost 4) years since the outbreak.

If it has been 3 or 4 years since you had it, I would feel more comfortable in going ahead with purchasing the dog. As a very picky breeder I would probably even allow a placement with you after researching what you could do with the yard to protect the puppy. If it were me I would probably (just because I'm paranoid) go ahead and bleach out the yard or follow whatever things were suggested for the yard. That is a long time ago though and I would assume that it would be safe after 3 to 4 years. that makes alot of difference in the timing, but I do understand your concern it is a very scary thing to go through. My sister really went through hell trying to save her dogs. One of them she took to the vet for complete care then when the other came down with it they couldn't afford it and were forced to care for her at home. The first dog was at the vets for 24hour care for many days. Both are fine now, thankgoodness.

Good luck with your decision,

Desiree

samisfree's picture
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 What a comforting comment! That really makes me feel a lot better. The breeder called this morning with the info from her vet, it was the same as every other office I've spoken with. No surprise.
She also said if we took the proper steps in disenfecting and followed through with the vaccines she would be willing to let us bring the puppy home and that it was up to us and to take our time to decide.

 I guess we have a lot of thinking to do! I am also very parinoid! heehee :) I've lost sleep over the passed couple of nights, just thinking and wondering what we should do.

 I'm happy to hear that your sister's dogs made it out okay. So many rarely do. I've read about home care and it seems like it would be absolutely exhausting. I would do it in a heartbeat if I had to though, so Kudos to her!!

AlphaAdmin's picture
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It's a relatively short time that a puppy is highly susceptible. Usually there are three vaccinations and a couple weeks after that they should be mostly immune from whatever may be left in the yard.

If I were in your situation I think I would quarant off a bit of the yard next to the door that would be the puppy's space. You could then remove the dirt/sod or just throw something over the area, like some fresh sod or wood chips. And watch the puppy. Make sure he's not digging and eating the dirt, which would be the only way he could get the illness.

samisfree's picture
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 That is a great idea. I hadn't even thought of that. We also have a closed in porch off of our bedroom that could be easily cleaned for outside time. It's small, but she'd be able to get some sun and fresh air there until she was fully vaccinated. I just remembered that shortly after our puppies died, my husband had loads of dirt delivered from a nursery to level off our yard. I wonder if that would be benificial or hurtful in this case. I suppose the new dirt could have been infected somehow as well...ahh! So confusing!!!

rgreen4's picture
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I had a brush with Parvo once. I have been given a Rotteweiler female who just did not get along with my Dobies, so I found a new home for her. She later had puppies and the new owner insisted I take one. I had a litter of Dobies at the time who were outside. For almost a week the Rottie puppy was with my Dobie puppies, and it was interesting with all the same color and all. One was just a lot fatter!

My next door neighbor want the Rottie puppy so he had a new home. About two weeks later my neighbor informed me that the puppy had Parvo and the puppy did not survive. I was in a panic so I had a conversation with my vet when my puppies were in for the next innoculation. He said it would be unlikely that mine would come down with it, as the Rottweiler is very, very susceptible to Parvo. He pointed out that most dogs are on a three week rotation for the innoculations, but the Rottweiler is on a two week rotation.

I never had any problem with my Dobie puppies. The sire of my first red male was the sole survivor of a litter. First mama killed several and then when the litter was at the vets, the rest caught Parvo at the vets. They named the survivor, a red male, Samson. I named my pup Hans Tigre von Samson. I had him for 11 1/2 years and his sire was long lived as well.

I guess what I am trying to point out is that one reason it is confusing, is no one really knows. Our dogs are shortlived when compared to us. And as loving responsible owners, we want what is best for them and to protect them at all times. I almost lost one to being hit by a car in front of the house (and me) only to lose her two years later to cancer. You do the best you can, and just value the time you get to have with them. Just keep her up on her shots and love her. You will be rewarded with an amazing creature.