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Our little puppy died because of this dreaded parvovirus. She was on a drip with other necessary meds. She lived 4 days fighting the disease, but today she died very painfully. We have 4 more adult dogs and have separated them since we noticed the symptoms. The doctor told us to burn her clothes and other belongings since they can carry the virus. I would like to know how should we proceed with her body. Can we bury her? Or do we have to burn her body?

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    I am so sorry for your loss :( – lila Feb 23 at 19:49
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    @lila Thank you. I know that she is in a better place now. – Kakar Feb 24 at 4:09
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    so sorry for your loss, lost my golden boy Caramel to parvo 2 weeks back. – dresh Feb 25 at 7:29
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    @dresh I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you peace and comfort as you grieve. – Kakar Feb 28 at 14:44
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I'm sorry for your loss, but with this particular virus I would be very careful.

The safest solution is to cremate her body or leave her with the vet or clinic, but I can understand if you want to bury her close to you. I wouldn't lay her to rest on a patch of land where your other dogs can reach, though.

The parvovirus is a particularly resilient virus. It can survive indoors at room temperature for at least two months and is resistant to many commonly used cleaners and disinfectants. Outdoors, the parvovirus can survive for months, and even years, if protected from direct sunlight.
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That sounds very similar to anthrax, a very resilient bacterium that caused continuous loss of livestock before a vaccine was developed. Farmers would bury the bodies of their dead animals deep beneath their meadows because they believed the bodies would fertilize the meadow. What actually happened was that they created "cursed meadows" that claimed the lives of their animals year after year. Earthworms would dig tunnels down (or at least close enough) to the bodies and carry the bacteria back up to the surface, where the next unlucky animal would be infected after eating contaminated grass.

Parvo can be transmitted to another dog by simple touch. The dog doesn't even have to eat contaminated grass, sniffing and touching it with its nose is enough to get infected. That's why I strongly suggest cremating her body. If that is unacceptable to you, you must lay her to rest somewhere where no dog or wild canine will touch the ground for several years.


To keep other dogs safe:

First and foremost make sure that all of your other dogs are completely vaccinated against Parvo. If any of them are not vaccinated, don't let them into the room where you kept your ill puppy for at least 2 months.

If your puppy ever pooped in your house or outside in your yard, collect all feces as thoroughly as possible, secure them with a second layer of trash bag and discard them.

Regardless of the vaccination of your dogs, you have a responsibility to protect other dogs and wildlife from the virus. Unfortunately, most cleaners and disinfectants don't work against parvovirus.

Anything contaminated that can be thrown away and replaced should be. The best household cleaner to use to kill parvovirus is bleach (1 part bleach to 30 parts water). It should be used on hard surfaces including tiles, concrete, paving bottoms of shoes etc – leave the bleach on the surface at least 10 - 15 minutes. Anything that can be washed in bleach should be.
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The virus itself can also be killed by temperatures above boiling (130°C for at least 15 minutes) and by UV light.

Wash the clothes you wore when handling the puppy in a bleach solution and hang them into bright sunlight for several days. Turn the clothes inside out after a day of full sunlight and let them hang another full day. By turning the clothes inside out you make sure that the UV light of the Sun can reach as deep as possible and kill the virus as completely as possible.

Don't forget to treat your footwear! Put them into a flat container and fill it as high as possible with bleach solution to decontaminate the soles of the shoes. Then wash the shoes in bleach solution or treat them with bright sunlight for several days if washing isn't possible.

Burn or safely discard all of the personal items of your infected dog: collar, blankets, pillows, everything. These items can retain the virus for a very long time and you can carry and spread it around unknowingly by simply touching the items. Even if your dogs are vaccinated, they too can spread the virus if they have contact with those items and infect other dogs that might not be vaccinated.

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    Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. – Kakar Feb 24 at 4:11
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    A friend of mine adopted a new dog more than a week after his dog died of parvo. This new dog then came down with parvo and died, so the virus is definitely resilient and can remain infectious for a long time. – WaterMolecule Feb 24 at 16:14
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    I would advocate for cremation in this case - for the reason a you elaborated in this excellent answer. – Stephie Feb 24 at 17:09
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    for all parvo cases, it is recommended to cremate them rather than bury them. this is a list I got from my breeder to take care of at my place at least 1 month prior to getting another one: -- one full viral disinfectant treatment for the house by a pest control agency. -- one round of surface wash with bleaching powder -- one round of wash with Kohrsolin -- one final wash with lizol or regular surface cleaners – dresh Feb 25 at 7:35
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    @LShaver Short answer: Because puppies usually are vaccinated as early as possible. When people talk about "getting their puppies vaccinated" they talk about parvo vaccine. Many reputable placs like groomers, dog pensions or daycares and dog schools turn away any dog that isn't vaccinated to reduce the risk of spread. Owners are advised to avoid dog parks and receiving visits from other dogs until their puppies are vaccinated. And lastly, adult dogs often have a milder infectionn than puppies, so you might not even be aware of how many infections there are, especially in strays. – Elmy Feb 26 at 5:56
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Burying the body deep enough to not be excavated by other animals should be enough.

If you want to be extra-safe, then use a service of veterinary cremation - your veterinary doctor should readily know such services.

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    You forgot the things under the ground - which will eat the body and move contaminated material to the surface. – speciesUnknown Feb 25 at 9:47

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