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Parvo Paranoia

~ Real or Imagined

Our Client Asked —

Luna not too long before she joined her family.

Is the Parvo virus threat just until they get through their 16 week Titler test? Or is it until they reach a certain age? Just a little unclear what constitutes them being safe for public areas/dog parks etc. If you get the titer test done at 16 weeks it will show if she has immunity to Parvo and if you also have her tested for the Distemper it would also show that. Last time we just tested for the Parvo because Distemper just is not something they are seeing in our area. 

OwyheeStar’s Response

Parvo is a very real risk. Ask any Vet office and they will tell you that the risk is out there, and it is beyond sad when a puppy comes in and they are determined infected. We have never had an OwyheeStar puppy diagnosed with Parvo. Nonetheless, even though nowhere in the Pacific NW is listed as a ‘Hot Spot’ we still need to exercise caution.

I think if you take your puppy for a walk in the neighborhood you should wipe the feet (not let them lick her paws) and make sure they are not investigating a lot of areas where the ground might be infected. In all likelihood, your local neighborhood (if it is a low traffic area) may be fairly safe.

So what do I mean by low traffic? A place less traveled by those with pups. Any area where people are taking random puppies (which might be unknowingly infected). It is understandable that the owner doesn’t yet have a clue. The pups begin shedding the virus long before there is a definitive sign that they are ill. So they are leaving behind the virus everywhere. Of course, they are infecting the ground. But did you know if you viewed this virus under the microscope that one end is barbed–it sticks to clothing, shoes, etc. It is very portable which makes the spread even more commonplace.

More Information

Here are a couple of links that talk about the prevalence of Parvo and how to avoid it—and while it sounds paranoid, you want to socialize the puppy BUT avoid risk.  

Parvo In Puppies

Parvo Virus in Dogs


~We are extra careful

We always leave the pups in the car (when scheduled for the Veterinary Wellness) until the room is ready at the Vet office. It is essential to avoid exposure—to Parvo, Kennel Cough, etc. We never take a young dog that doesn’t have immunity to public places including pet stores (where well-meaning folks might share the virus) such a  Pet Store, Park, Dog Area, or even to socialize at the local Farm Store– etc.

The Vaccine Titer Test

Once the Titer test shows immunity (with a high titer count) you are good to go. We honestly believe if you follow our vaccine protocol you will attain protection. Then by getting the sixteen-week titer test (instead of the typical puppy shot) it is going to allow you to have the freedom to be anywhere. In the meantime though, visit friends homes in a fenced back yard—where pets are vaccinated, etc. Figure out ways to safely socialize your puppy–a hundred different touches in a hundred days would be a good goal. Do what you can–but be safe, my friend.

Ghost Tales

Hey Shela and Cliff!
I’ve been meaning to write you with an update for a little while but keep getting side tracked. I know you understand with the puppy and all. (Haha) Ghost has been absolutely wonderful!

Expanding the Puppy Socialization

He’s completed his 100 exposures (to various humans, and whatnot) with a huge margin and ever expanding. Puppy class started this last weekend and is going to do a lot of good I can tell already, he was very wide-eyed walking in, for the most part however, he’s so very confident and attentive. We’ve had the opportunity to organize a good amount of safe play with a few other dogs. He’s been to the barn and met horses and chickens

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He is so great at the barn, he waits patiently without me while I ride, no whining or big scene, and he’s cautious about the horses but not just running stupid scared.
He’s been rock climbing with us a couple times,

After Immunity is Achieved

He’s been just so great. I can’t wait until we can start taking him to parks and the dog beach. He’s growing up so fast it’s just unbelievable. Every week he’s like a different dog! We are continuing independence training and as soon as he can he’ll start going to doggy day care once a week to have some play time out of the house and without me.
I’m so happy fate shined the way it did, he’s just absolutely perfect; so handsome and so with it. You can see him last weekend at grandmas house running around –so fast in one of the photos above. Did I say they grow up fast?
                                                                        Best, Alex
Breeder’s Note: The Weimaraner needs on-going socialization. 
Yes, it is important to avoid public locations. Nevertheless, you folks are doing it right. You have found ways to help the pup learn to be adaptable, and confident in an ever-changing environment. The concrete-thinking Weimaraner can easily get so set in their ways, that anything different is freaky-scary. That doesn’t mean there are no ‘feat-periods’ when a dog might freak over the seemingly nothing. These are the times when you go on about your business without giving this incident much attention. While we are on the topic, the absolute Repeated Wordworst thing you can do during one of those situations is to console them—them–  poor-baby  is the Repeated Wordworst possible response. You do not want to ingrain the fear; you want to work past it, and not give it license.
These folks are doing all the right things…They are..1. avoiding the risk of contracting Parvo. 2. continuing with a broad-based socialization program suited to his or her lifestyle. 3. Teaching the pup how to cope with their beloved human’s absence. Keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing your experience with us, and those who read the OwyheeStar Weimaraner News Blog.