Canine Coronavirus (CCV)
The canine coronavirus is an intestinal disease of dogs. While typically a mild disease with minimal or nonexistent symptoms, coronavirus is most dangerous when it is diagnosed concurrently with another disease, like the canine parvovirus.
Transmission and Contraction
Canine coronavirus is highly contagious. It is commonly spread through infected fecal matter, since the viral strands are resilient and can be shed in the feces for up to six months after initial contraction. Dogs get the virus by coming into contact with contaminated feces or materials contaminated by the feces. Several factors are though to make the contraction of CCV mroe likely. The overall health of a dog, stress, enviromental factors including sanitation and crodedness, vaccination status and more can all play a role.
- Symptoms are variable, many adults dogs don't show any symptoms at all
- Sporadic vomiting or diarrhea
- Mild respiratory difficulty
- Low-grade fever
- Minor weight loss
Puppies are at the greatest risk of serious harm from CCV and concurrent infections. Diarrhea and accompanying dehydration will affect puppies much faster than adult dogs, and dangerous inflammation of the intestines (enteritis) can also occur. Deather has even been reported in puppies with CCV and accompanying infections.
There is no specific test for the canine coronavirus, so diagnosis will involve eliminating other possible causes of symptoms, taking a patient's health and vaccination history, and relying on certain laboratory tests like antibody analysis or microscoopic examination of viral particles.
Many times, adult dogs won't need treatment at all, and can recover from a CCV infection on their own. Again, puppies will need the highest lever of supportive care. If enteritis is present, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication may be prescrived. In cases of dehydration, IV fluids and electrolyte replacement may be necessary. Supportive care at home usually sufficient to help a dog recover from CCV infection.
There is a vaccine available again CCV. In some instances, it is included in a puppy's core batch of vaccinations. However, some veterinarians only recommend it for show dogs or dogs who live in large groups. Dogs that are recovering from CCV can still shed the virus in feces, potentially infecting other dogs. Pet owners who keep multiple dogs should keep the infected animal isolated from other dogs until the infection is completly eliminated. The coronavirus itself can be removed from the enviroment with a diluted bleach solution. Keeping a dog away from other dogs fecal matter whenever possible is a good preventative measure against the canine coronacirus and other contagious diseases.