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I had an opportunity to get a used Free Flow drinking fountain used. At $4.00, it seemed like a great deal if it worked. I didn't know the history of it, so I didn't know if it had been used with a sick animal or not. I took it home and disassembled it, completely cleaning every piece. I even removed the pump impeller and dunked the pump assembly in alcohol, since it's watertight. I then tested it out and found it's as good as new.

I was thinking I would use it alternately with the one I have. When it comes time to clean the other I'll just swap, clean the other one, and rotate them.

My concern though is over the risk of contamination if it might have been used by a sick contagious animal. It did have a lot of hair packed around the intake vents of the pump before I cleaned it. Is there a recommended time now to let it sit and air out just in case? How long could the most contagious germs live on a sterile surface before they are no longer a possible threat?
 

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i would think if you cleaned it thouroghly and let it dry it would be ok. i don't think germs can live very long (maybe just a few minutes) on a non-porus surface, but i don't know for sure.
 

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Clean it with dilute bleach, the world's best disinfectant. Distemper, which is a parvo virus, can survive most other cleaners and will live for years in the environment. I clean mine with regular soap and water, then run a dilute bleach solution through it with the motor running so it cleans out every part. Of course, rinse the heck out of it after the bleach, again running clean water through the whole fountain for a few minutes.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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On a seperate issue, although the same topic.

I have a terrible upper respiratory throat infection and have been coughing a lot. Is there any chance I might infect my cats while hugging them?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Threecats, no. Upper respiratory viruses are very temperature-sensitive as well as species-specific. The cat's higher body temperature will kill your human virus. (BTW that's why our bodies often run a fever as a means of destroying invading viruses!).

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Dr. Jean, I have heard that also about fevers and also that it is why it is sometimes better to just let your body have the fever...to a certain point. I was sick recently and had a fever to the point that I had chills and couldn't sleep. I finally took tylenol to bring it down. A nurse later told me that my fever was probably around 102 at that time (I don't have a working thermometer). How high can a fever get before it is damaging? I know it is dangerous if it gets too high.
And just so this is somwhat a cat question... :D what is the normal temp for cats? Isn't it around 100?
 

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Thanks Dr Jean! It's a relief to know. :) I can now hug them with a clear conscience.

My body temperature is generally quite low. Maybe that's why I'm not getting better fast...
 

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I've read that aerobic exercise (enough to raise your body temp) can help with some viruses. NOT that you feel like hopping on a treadmill (in fact that's why I haven't done it myself!!), but perhaps you can come up with something not too painful to try....

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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I always took a really, really hot bath when I started feeling myself get sick. Like so hot that you have to very slowly climb in because moving in the hot water burns. Then soak. Worked every time. I got through an entire season at a ski resort without missing a day of work with this little trick.

Um...don't hurt yourself, though. I've got a cousin with horrible burn scars because his mother put him in bath water that was too hot.
 

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I usually drink lot of hot tea! I felt sick this weekend and I drank like 20 teas on Saturday and I got over it in 2 days! I also get dressed well so I'm hot and sweating. :D

Hmmm......next time I will try the hot bath.
 

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Just wanted to point out that water over 120°F can burn. I have my water heater set to 110°F. It is the next to lowest setting. I do this to save money on my electric bill, and as such could never really get a hot shower or bath. :roll:
 
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