>I live in Rochester, New York. My vet says there is a lot of parvo virus
>up here. My puppy is now 15 weeks old, and her 4th set of shots. She's due
>for another at 18 weeks. My pup is a very energetic Lab, and I'm dying to
>let her run off some of this energy in local parks. But my vet is saying
>to be cautious, and wait until she's had all of her shots. How is parvo
>transmitted? Airborne? Through contact with other dogs' feces? Do you
>think he's being too conservative? If you can, please e-mail me directly.
It's a fecal-***transmission -- unfortunately, the virus is very
resistant and can live in the dirt for years and is resistant to many
disinfectants. This means if your puppy eats some grass and roots from
dirt where a dog pooped two years ago at a park (if that dog was
shedding parvovirus in his feces) -- he can be exposed.
Ask your vet about the new high-titer parvo vaccines that protect
puppies as young as 12 weeks against parvo (although it won't help
your puppy a whole lot ...)
BTW -- some dogs can not have any symptoms at all and still shed
parvovirus, which is one reason why it's so hard to prevent.
BUT ... find a park where there aren't a lot of other dogs. Maybe you
can find some tennis courts (completely fenced in) and go after dark,
or a baseball field when it's raining -- that way you've got a
relatively low risk of parvo, since these aren't common places to take
dogs. Remember to take a couple of baggies so you can "pick up" after
your dog -- not to prevent parvo, but because the presence of dog poop
in "human" parks is unwelcome and may result in "NO DOGS ALLOWED"
signs going up.
Or find a friend with a pup of similar age who has a fenced yard.
It's a relatively small risk -- but it *is* a risk. It's yours to
take. Personally, I took Joy to puppy kindergarten classes from 12
weeks on, knowing that it was a risk -- but I think the socialization
was worth the risk.
& Edric, the Wonder Mutt, Kati, the world's hairiest Akita,__ /|__
Joy "quit helping!", the Aussie sheep-***puppy / \___/ ^_/
and Battlecat & Cringer, who don't like to be herded \ \/ |
(oh, yeah, there might be a husband under all the hair) \ / --\ /