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We had kept my son's 4 month old St. Bernard in the same yard as my German Short Hair. The St. became ill, was rushed to the Vet's and died of Parvo. Both the dogs were current on shots! The Vet said that the St. caught the virus between shots?! She also stated that my dog was not in danger because he is 5 years old.

My question is can we get another puppy and put it back in the yard? I have been reading that parvo lasts awhile?? What a experience to go through with a 12 year old son! jeff

I am really sorry to hear about your loss, all the more emotional with a 12 year old child involved, tell him I think there is another special dog out there waiting just for him. Before you get a new puppy, let's talk about this parvo virus. Parvo is a viral infection that attacks the lining of the intestine and causes severe vomiting, diarrhea, toxemia and dehydration that can be fatal. The vast majority of cases we see are dogs in the 3-12 month range, certain breeds like rotweillers, Dobermans and some springers are especially prone to the disease. I agree that your 5 year old dog will probably not be affected, his older, more competent immune system should fight off the virus. How your St. Bernard got the disease is open to debate but incubating the virus (during which time the dog looks normal) at or between vaccines is common. Also realize that while you can vaccinate your dog several times with the best vaccines in the world, nobody can control how that individual dogs immune system reacts to the vaccine. The parvo virus is a hardy rascal and can survive in the environment for long periods of time, especially if it is protected in organic matter. My best advice is to clean all cleanable surfaces (kennels, dishes, etc.) with a 1:30 dilution of Clorox. I would wait a minimum of 90 days before I brought another puppy into the home. Hopefully, that is the last parvo experience you have to endure. Here's to a happier year 2000!

Dr. Mike

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