The internet is full of ghost stories.

Our puppies had a vet appointment today; they are the picture of good health and growing like weeds.  I was particularly relieved when the vet said their poo samples were normal.  At our first vet appointment two months ago, she told us their fecal samples indicated they had coccidia infections.  “It’s a very common protozoan infection in puppies,” she said, giving us a prescription for medication to treat it.

I went home to see what the internet had to say about coccidia and by the time my husband arrived home, I’d spent several hours online working myself into a frothy near-anxiety attack.  I had read multiple horror stories of infections that lasted for a year with the dog eventually dying from chronic diarrhea.  And the cleaning suggestions were crazy:

All fecal material should be removed… Most disinfectants do not work well against coccidia; incineration of the feces, and steam cleaning, immersion in boiling water, or a 10% ammonia solution are the best methods to kill coccidia.

Uh, I have to burn their poop? Not to be graphic, but that doesn’t sound like it’s going to smell too pleasant.  How do you even burn poo, anyway?

Another site made the situation sound even more dire:


…keeping flies/insects and rodents away (they can also spread this disease on their feet/in their bodies) and cleaning all areas thoroughly are vital.

Oh no! I silently wailed.  We live out in the country!  How do I keep all the insects away?  They’re everywhere!  Should I call a pest control company?!

Coccidia organisms are very hardy, can survive for long periods in the soil, and are difficult to kill – most household cleaners aren’t going to be effective.

Cleaning at high temperatures (ie steam cleaning and sterilization with boiling water) is the best option for utensils and toys (ie bowls, chew toys etc.). Wash bedding on the ‘HOT’ cycle in your washing machine with bleach.

Whichever solution you choose, wash all areas thoroughly and leave to soak in for at least 20 mins before rinsing. Grassy areas or soil/dirt can be very difficult in terms of removing all traces of coccidia protozoa. The best thing to do is to soak the area with either of the above cleaning solutions. However, these surfaces can remain contaminated for up to 2 months or more, so bear that in mind.

When my husband caught me making plans to dump buckets of bleach water all over the yard in a panic, he intervened.  “Stop being insane,” he ordered. “No one did these crazy things when we were young and you don’t have to do it now.   And quit reading all this crap online.”

So I cleaned up their poop right away, but I did not incinerate it; I disposed of it in a plastic bag in the trash.   And I didn’t bleach the yard, though I did disinfect their food and water bowls, wash their bedding, and give them their medication.  And lo and behold, the next time they went to the vet, she said they were all better.  No yard-bleaching needed.

This isn’t the first time I’ve worked myself into a lather over some health thing on the internet; like most mothers, I’ve done this with my children’s illnesses, too.  And that’s the problem: going online can be a great way to get information but it can also make everything thing seem absolutely dire and dangerous and horrible and impossible to deal with and on the brink of disaster.  It can make you want to hide in your room and never leave the house for fear of what could possibly happen.  It can make you paranoid.

Like mothers with their children or puppy-owners, I see men in the manosphere do this pretty excessively, too.  They’ll catch wind of a hashtag like #GiveYourMoneyToWomen and flip out and make all kinds of crazy assumptions about women in general, completely missing the fact that 75%+ of the women tweeting that hashtag are prostitutes – as in, literal, actual, professional whores – with the other 25% being seriously hardcore feminist activists.  It’s not all that surprising that whores see a business opportunity in commodifying all aspects of male-female interactions, but most women are not prostitutes nor are they feminist activists who want to be paid for cooking dinner and making pleasant conversation.  However, if you spend a lot of time reading XOJane and looking around online for the most shocking thing you can find that a couple of whack-job feminist women have written, you’re going to get a really skewed view of what is out there, and end up getting carried away like I nearly did with the bleach (thankfully, my husband was the voice of sanity that kept me from killing all our grass in a panic).

People who are really into preparedness are another group that I sometimes see get really worked up over things that yes, are problems and indicate that our society is looking at a decline, but no, are probably not signs of an imminent catastrophic disintegration of society into a zombie apocalypse type state.

Coccidia is real.  You can’t just ignore it and hope it will go away; you have to know and look out for the warning signs and use the prescribed medication.   By the same token, there are some really awful women out there and being ignorant of some of the warning signs won’t make them go away.  And our country is definitely faring poorly under a liberal government and is in for some seriously tough financial and social times ahead, so prepare yourself.  It’s good to be informed about what to watch out for with coccidia, feminists, and our foolish liberal government.  But the world is not one giant coccidia heap, nor are all women feminists and whores, and we’re not likely to all be shooting one another over an egg anytime soon.  In fact, I suspect my zucchini vines could feed my entire town for a year if everyone would just take a few of them off my hands. 🙂

Use the internet as a source of information, but do try to keep things in perspective; it’s probably not quite as scary as the online ghost stories make it seem.

Dig, Roo, and Zuke




7 thoughts on “The internet is full of ghost stories.

  1. This is another interesting aspect to the loss of the extended family. With the extended family around, new moms had seasoned moms around to calm them down and help them with each new step. So they weren’t stuck with a new baby and only an equally green (and tired) husband to help them. Now they’re stuck with nurses, doctors, and the internet to help them. No wonder so many new moms have such trouble. Makes me wonder whether or not post-partum depression has grown more common over the years. It wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    The same goes for nearly any other activity. With the extended family available you could turn to someone you trusted for advice rather than sifting through Google results to try and figure out what actually works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, excellent point! I would have been certifiably nuts after the births of our children if I had not had my mother, sister, and MIL to provide advice, reassurance, and reality checks. Although living in extended family groups has its own challenges, I think the benefits are worth the hassle.


  2. Well said. I like how you linked coccidia, feminism, and our current liberal leadership all into one heap of yuck.

    As to those hubbies who say things like “stop being insane,” are they not the best thing ever? That is something I really appreciate about men, many of them can magically restore order to complete chaos with only a few words 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stop being insane is one of the most helpful things my husband says. Seriously.

      My favorite story along those lines was one time a number of years ago when I caught some flak from another mother about being overprotective of our eldest daughter by not letting her have access to a particular series of books. I was told that she was going to find out about a certain issue in those books sooner or later, so there was no sense in trying to shield her.

      Well, I was all worked up about it and ranting a long list of reasons to my husband as to why we had to shield our daughter and he just said, “Later.”

      “Uh, later? What?” I said, confused.

      “Later. You said [woman’s name] told you that [daughter’s name] was going to find out about this topic sooner or later. So, I choose later.”

      Well, that stopped me dead in my tracks. Oh, later! Right! It deflated my escalating emotions…it was such a brilliantly simple response. No long list of justifications for my decision to shield our daughter…just later and that’s all. So simple and no need to get all worked up.

      Husbands are the best that way, aren’t they? 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Glad to hear that the puppies are healthy! Keep them away from the internet. Thay may end up like a “terrified bear”.
    I do remember stumbling across 3giveyourmoneytowomen and thought it a very weak feminist confidence trick. Then, I forgot all about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope your pups do well. On the light side, my kids have learned a TON about all phases of owning dogs through 4-H, but were appalled when their father set the word “coccidioidomycosis” to a well known song from Mary Poppins.

    Coccidioidomycosis, that is valley fever……

    But they remembered the word and what it means. :^)

    Back to the subject, I also get to remind people that you don’t need to jump every time someone in authority tells you to. That goes for internet (the “autobahn of BS” as a friend put it) and sometimes even real authorities like veterinarians–you can make yourself broke doing everything they tell you. Heartworm, yearly checkups? I’m there. Annual dental cleaning at a cost of $200/dog?

    Get the toothbrush out, kids!


  5. XOJane is just one of dozens of average, mainstream online women’s magazines. Its contributors are typical, run-of-the-mill, average female journalists. Its commenters are also average women. It’s far from a radical feminist rag. Those are infinitiely worse even than that. You’re pretty much off base here.


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