The dreaded Winter Vomiting Bug has arrived. It’s the Norovirus (or Norwalk Virus). Now, there is nothing I can find (as of this writing) to indicate that it is a zoonetic virus, one that can be transmitted to or from our dogs. However, it is awfully coincidental that just when we humans get caught in a a period when Norovirus is striking, an awful lot of dogs seem to experience some sort of stomach bug as well.
Pure coincidence? Possible.
I do know one thing for certain: nasty things are transmitted to humans and other animals from that dog poop some people leave lying around. More than being courteous and abiding by The Pooper Scooper Law, we can help keep viral bugs at bay by picking up after our dogs at all times.
Be safe when you scoop that poop and use a heavy duty doggie poop bag. Use a bag that can be securely closed and discard of it responsibly in the trash. Carry a hand sanitizer for your use after poop-scooping, and, wash your hands frequently with hot soapy water. Remember to keep the soap working for the length of time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song. A quick wash isn’t enough to eliminate germs.
When it comes to poop bags, I am not a fan of the biodegradable hand gloves calledScoopies because they aren’t quite heavy-duty enough and I’ve had glove failure (ick). I haven’t yet sampled the flushable bags, and can’t see much use for them for dog walkers. They might be very useful for paper trained dogs who “go” indoors, or, people who let their dogs potty in their yards.
The blue baggies, Bags On Board, are very popular here in NYC and they’re ok if you have a small dog and small poo to contend with. Again, I’ve experienced bag failure with these and they’re not my favorite, although they will do in a pinch.
I can’t find my favorite online, but, they are available at Petland Discount stores. They’re black and heavy and have never failed me. Unfortunately, I buy them so routinely, I can’t remember what their brand name is.
At home, a mild Clorox (bleach) solution (or perhaps that new Clorox hard surface spray cleaner) is a must for every pet owner. A little bit of bleach goes a long way toward sanitizing your home.
For information on the Norovirus, check this link to the CDC: What Are Noroviruses?
I so don’t want to get the Winter Vomiting Bug. And I hope you stay well too!
PS: If anyone out there actually catches their dog’s poops as they free fall, you’ll be interested in this product: Doogie Poop Catcher. For my clients, this is where I draw the line. I don’t do poop catching.
Edited January 3, 2008: I’ve noticed a number of people surfing to this entry and wanted to stress, if your dog is in distress, please get professional medical help right away, especially if your dog is very young or very old, and, most especially if yours is a small breed dog or new puppy. Please see this link for more information on hemorragic gastroenteritis (bloody diarhhea) and note also that if you have a puppy or young dog that hasn’t been vaccinated, the problem may be a serious virus and you need to see a veterinarian post haste.
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