Guidebook: Canine Parvovirus

Chapter 7: Disinfection: How do you get rid of it?

As noted before, CPV can remain viable for months to years, especially in a dark, moist environment.10 There is no realistic way to “out-wait” CPV in a shelter setting: it must be mechanically removed or killed by one of the few effective disinfectants. Happily, there are products now available that reliably inactivate FPV even on porous or unsealed surfaces.

Bleach has long been a standby product for inactivating CPV. Products in the same family as bleach that have also been found effective against CPV include calcium hypochlorite (e.g. Wysiwash®) and sodium dichloroisocyanurate (e.g. Bruclean®). However, all products in the bleach family have the significant disadvantage of being inactivated by organic material and offering limited penetration on porous surfaces. These products are fine to use on surfaces such as stainless steel or sealed floors, but choose one of the other options below for surfaces such as scratched plastic, unsealed concrete, wood, carpet, etc. 

Potassium peroxymonosulfate[13] (e.g. Trifectant® or Virkon) and accelerated hydrogen peroxide[14] (e.g.  Accel/Rescue®) both have greater detergent properties and better activity in the face of organic matter compared to bleach and related products. Accel/Rescue® in particular has been shown to have good activity even in the face of organic matter contamination. Either of these can be used in carpet cleaners on contaminated carpets and furniture (always check first to test for staining).

Independent studies have repeatedly shown that quaternary ammonium disinfectants (e.g. Triple Two®, Rocal®) do not reliably kill  parvovirus, in spite of repeated reformulation and label claims of efficacy.13,15,16

There is no benefit to a waiting period prior to re-use of a kennel after CPV decontamination; either mechanical cleaning and disinfection was effective, or it was not. Waiting a day or even a couple of weeks will not result in a significant further decrease in contamination. To be on the safe side, kennels should be completely cleaned, disinfected, and dried at least twice before re-use, however this can happen in a short period of time (e.g. 24 hours) if the area or kennel is needed urgently. 

For areas such as yards and homes where disinfection is not an option, careful and repeated mechanical cleaning can be effective if applied diligently. Yards can be flushed with water and dried, and a disinfectant with reasonable efficacy in the face of organic matter (e.g. Accel/Rescue®) can be sprayed on the area using a pesticide applicator or hose-end sprayer. If repeated cases occur after thorough efforts at cleaning, close the area to youngsters and unvaccinated animals for at least 6-12 months (and in general do not use grass or dirt areas for juvenile animals and animals in the shelter less than four days). In the meantime, maximize exposure to sunlight and drying of the environment.