As a dog owner, you know that parvo is a highly contagious virus that can cause serious illness in your pet. It can be especially worrying if you have a yard where your dog spends a lot of time.
Because the disease can be passed quickly from one dog to another, you’ll want to stop animals roaming around your yard. However, even then, you’ll want to know, can you test your yard for parvo?
In our guide, you can learn more about which are susceptible dogs if there is a parvo outbreak, an infected animal has been in contact with your dog, or your puppy has been affected by lingering parvo in your yard. By the end, you’ll better understand how you go about killing parvo and why keeping your yard vigorously clean could be the best parvo treatment for yard areas. (Read Why Is My Creeping Fig Dying)
What is Parvo?
Before we dive into how to test your yard for parvo, let’s briefly review what parvo is. All dogs are susceptible to the highly contagious canine parvovirus, although puppies under six months are particularly at risk.
The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells, such as those found in the intestinal lining and bone marrow of the animal’s body, which can lead to severe diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and, in extreme cases, can kill them.
Parvo is spread through direct or indirect contact with infected feces, and parvovirus can live in the environment for months or even years, making it challenging to eradicate.
Can Parvo Live in Your Yard?
You may understand that parvo can live in grass, and as you need to carry out your regular lawn care, so, does parvo get trodden or walked to other areas of your yard?
So, now you’ll question, can parvo live on concrete slab? Yes, parvo can live in your yard. If an infected dog has been potty and there are stray canine feces in your yard, the virus can remain in the soil, grass, or other surfaces for months or even years.
The virus can still linger in the environment even if the infected feces have been picked up and removed. This means that your dog can be at risk of contracting parvo if it comes into contact with any contaminated surfaces in your yard.
Note: If you think any disinfectant will do, unfortunately, many disinfectants don’t work well with organic matter. So, you could use a disinfectant and think your cleaning process has done enough to kill parvo, which, unfortunately, it hasn’t, and the parvovirus remains.
Can You Test Your Yard for Parvo?
When you look at how to test for parvo in your yard, you won’t be physically testing the grass, plants, etc. Several testing methods can be used to detect parvovirus infection in dogs:
1. Fecal Elisa Antigen Test
One method is to collect stool samples from your dog and have them tested for the parvo virus.
A fecal test can detect viral DNA present in your dog’s feces, indicating whether your dog has been exposed to the virus. This test can be performed by your veterinarian or at a laboratory specializing in animal health.
2. Polymerase Chain Reaction
Another testing method is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test, which is more sensitive and specific than the ELISA test. The PCR test can detect parvo virus in an infected dog from stool or environmental samples, such as soil, grass, or other surfaces.
Your veterinarian or a laboratory specializing in animal health can also perform this test. If you want to test your yard for parvo yourself, you can purchase a parvo testing kit online. These kits typically use immunological molecules to detect the presence of the virus in the environment.
3. Complete Blood Count (CBC Test)
Do a complete blood count (CBC) on your dog to see if they have the canine parvovirus if they have recently been outside. A low cell count suggests the dog may have parvovirus and needs additional care or observation.
4. VETSCAN Parvo Rapid Testing
Another straightforward method to check your pet for canine parvovirus is the VETSCAN Parvo Quick Testing. A quick test based on antibodies can identify the illness in only a few minutes.
This kind of testing is excellent if you need results quickly; it is also simple to perform at home as just a tiny amount of feces is required. If the test is positive on an infected dog, you will know what to do next because results are sent in 10 to 15 minutes. (Read Can Goats Eat Watermelon)
How to Prevent Parvo in Your Yard
Practicing good lawn care, hygiene, and disinfection techniques is the best way to prevent parvo in your yard.
Here are some steps you can take to keep your yard parvo-free:
- Remove any organic matter, such as dog feces, from your yard immediately. This will help reduce the risk of the virus spreading to other animals in the area.
- Completely disinfect surfaces that have come into contact with infected feces using a bleach solution. Wear gloves and thoroughly rinse the area with water to avoid harming plant life.
- You can use a mix of one-part bleach to two parts water as an effective disinfectant to try and kill parvo on your grass. However, don’t use too much on your lawn to treat parvovirus, as you could harm your lawn and soil in the process.
- Avoid having unvaccinated dogs in your yard or high-risk areas, such as dog parks, where they may encounter an infected dog.
Using homemade disinfectant to combat parvovirus. The virus can live in soil, grass, and other surfaces for up to a year, making it very difficult to disinfect an area once it has been contaminated completely.
To disinfect an area contaminated with parvo, you must use a bleach solution that is strong enough to kill the virus. Most disinfectants are ineffective against parvo, so it’s essential to use bleach, known to kill viruses.
A bleach solution should be made by mixing one bleach with 32 parts water and then applied to the affected area with a spray bottle. It’s essential to allow the solution to sit on the surface for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with water.
In addition to disinfecting your yard, supporting your dog’s immune system is essential while recovering from parvo. This may include providing them supportive care such as fluids, electrolytes, and medication to manage symptoms.
If your dog shows signs of parvo, it’s essential to take them to the vet immediately for treatment.
Parvo Prevention Tips
Parvo is highly contagious and can kill dogs. Dogs often get parvo through environmental excrement. To protect their pets, dog owners must prevent parvo in their yards and grass.
1. Vaccinate your dog:
One of the most effective ways to avoid parvovirus in your yard is to ensure your dog is up to date on their vaccinations.
The parvovirus vaccine is typically given as a series of shots when dogs are puppies, followed by booster shots to maintain immunity. If you have an unvaccinated dog, it’s essential to get them vaccinated by your vet as soon as possible to protect them from parvo.
2. Keep your yard clean:
Parvo can survive for long periods in the environment, so keeping your yard clean is essential to prevent the virus from spreading. Use a pooper scooper or plastic bag to pick up your dog’s feces and dispose of them in the trash. Be sure to wear gloves when handling feces to avoid direct contact with the virus. (Read Can Pigs Eat Watermelon)
3. Disinfect high-risk areas:
If your yard has been exposed to parvo or if you suspect that it may be infected, it’s essential to disinfect high-risk areas thoroughly.
Use the above cleaning solution (one part bleach to 30 parts water) to clean surfaces such as concrete slabs, kennels, and other areas where infected dog feces can be found. Ensure you let the bleach sit for more than 10 minutes.
4. Avoid animals that are infected with parvovirus:
Dogs can contract parvovirus through direct or indirect contact with infected animals, so it’s important to keep your dog away from other dogs that may be infected. Avoid taking your dog to dog parks or other areas where dogs congregate.
5. Practice basic hygiene:
Parvo spreads quickly through contact with contaminated surfaces, so it’s important to practice basic hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling your dog or any items that may have come into contact with infected feces.
Testing your yard for parvo is an essential step in preventing the spread of this highly contagious virus. By taking the necessary precautions and using the appropriate testing methods, you can help to ensure that your yard is parvo-free and safe for your dog and other animals. (Read Can Chickens Eat Shrimp)
Always practice good hygiene, avoid contact with infected feces, and keep unvaccinated dogs from high-risk areas. If you suspect that your dog has been exposed to parvo or is showing symptoms of infection, don’t hesitate to contact your vet to see if they give a positive result during PCR-based testing.