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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

Precautions

~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.

Socializing the Weimaraner

Greta and her babiesIt’s an on-going process…

Socialization begins within the litter. At first, the puppy views itself as part of the mother. Then it will discover the litter-mates; the other moving parts of their very small world. They take comfort from nursing, and from snuggling. Initially, they need little else–warm, Mama’s touch, milk.

Young Pups Being Formal Socialization at about Two Weeks of Age

Age-appropriate socialization begins early–a long time before the pups departs OwyheeStar. It is imperative that various persons handle the puppy–many experts cite is also important for the pup to experience both male and female humans. We each have a different style of touch. The young pup needs to experience the human touch–and its variations. Nonetheless, stroking them all over their body in a calm manner initially is the focus. The methodology, and the frequency varies according to the pup’s maturity–readiness

Other People

It is important that the Weimaraner pup learns to accept other people touching them–better yet if they learn to love it. Take care in your approach to doing this. You don’t want everyone reaching at them. A controlled environment is important. Good habits are formed by doing things. Once the Weimaraner loves meeting people, they will look forward to it. It is preferable to have them friendly, as opposed too fearful (as well as too aloof). A little aloof may be OK, but (in the extreme) the fear-factor can take a turn for the worst fast. Socialization is beyond important. The right approach helps them avoid being so fearful, builds confidence, and creates the right-balance in their training program.

Make the Right Choices

Do I get a treat?

Do I get a treat?

Start the socialization of your puppy with dog lovers of the calm sort. Delay the wild, and over-zealous folks until the pup has gotten used to the process. Begin the social-training the day you bring your puppy home. Invite people to your home, and engage them with the puppy in a deliberate manner. Show them how to pet the puppy gently, and have them touch, the tummy, the tail the feet, the ears, and stroke their snout. The latter gets tricky as they begin their snappy-shark biting. Regardless, the puppy needs positive engagement with humans, and other dogs. We suggest avoiding the dog-park, and places that might put your puppy at-risk. The danger is contracting a disease (such as Parvo), or having a bad experience. You can do quite a bit of the socialization on your own turf where you know you are in control, and you can limit the danger.

Engaging the environment

Everyone wants to show their puppy off. Doing this might put them at-risk for contracting Parvo, Kennel Cough, or picking up intestinal problems.  The pet store is another place where people take their new pups. Many of these have no immunity, and have not been vaccinated. Please know that Parvo and Kennel Cough are so easily contracted taking a young pup to the pet store is not a wise decision. The risk is too great.

Continue to use the Kennel

Continue to use the Kennel

Leaving your own home and yard needs to be a part of your socialization plan. Making the right choices about where, and how to do that is equally important. We suggest avoiding anywhere that is considered a dog, or pet-friendly area for the first four months. This will limit the risk factor. Visit friends at their home, where you know their pet is vaccinated, and their yard is fenced. Make a trip to the country, and get off the beaten path. Remember, Parvo can stay in the ground for months (under the right conditions). Who can say if an area is infected or not? Stay remote, and be creative. That is our best advice. Very soon, the world will open up to you–even so, implement each change in a slow deliberate manner to avoid the shock-factor. Socializing your Weimaraner doesn’t happen over night. Each pup is unique, and they engage the process in their own manner. You are the leader making the assessment about what is the best approach.

Note: This is an over-simplification of what you will do to socialize your Weimaraner puppy. Nonetheless, it gives you a feel for the basics. We are sure we have forgotten something important. We can count on someone to mention where we have dropped the ball. Thank you in advance.