Canine coronavirus is a highly contagious intestinal infection which generally effects puppies and older dogs, which is spread from dog to dog through contact with contaminated feces. After exposure to coronavirus, the incubation period can be as short as one to four days, however generally two to ten days. It may cause considerable abdominal discomfort, including diarhhea and vomiting. Generally, it is considered a relatively mild disease with sporadic symptoms, or no symptoms at all. If the infection occurs concurrently with other viruses, for instance canine parvo infection or another intestinal enteric infection, the disease may be more serious. Some deaths have been reported in susceptible pups since they do not have a fully developed immune system. This virus is fairly resistant, and freezing temperatures outdoors increase the infectious period. The incubation period from infection to clinical signs is one to four days. A dog may be the carrier of the infection and shed the virus into their feces for up to six months (180 days) after infection.
How do dogs or puppies become infected with Canine Coronavirus?
An infection of this disease is spread through oral contact with infected feces, eating or drinking from contaminated bowls, or direct contact with an infected dog.
When is my dog or puppy at a higher risk to contract Canine Coronavirus infection?
The infection may be found in places and events where dogs gather. The most likely locations for the virus to spread are dog parks, doggie daycare, visits to the groomers, dogs that live in multiple pet homes, or any activity engaging with other dogs on a daily basis. Since puppies or dogs that came from a rescue, shelter, breeding kennel, or pet shop have been around other dogs daily, they may be at risk, however many pet facilities require vaccination for this virus, so check your puppy’s health record upon purchase or adoption.
What are Canine Coronavirus Symptoms?
Symptoms indicating that your dog may be infected include: loss of appetite, depression, dehydration, vomiting, acute diarrhea, yellow to orange diarrhea from soft to watery (may also contain blood), and fever (occasionally).
Your pet might be infected but not exhibit every symptom listed here, so it is important that you check with your veterinarian, even if only one symptom is present.
If an infection has occurred, clean contaminated areas, bedding, feed and water bowls with one of the many disinfectants that kill the virus. Other precautionary measures to reduce the spread of the virus include separating sick dogs from healthy ones.
How do I protect my puppy or dog from Canine Coronavirus infection?
A canine coronavirus vaccine is available as an aid in the prevention of the infection. This vaccine may be included in a coronavirus combination vaccine that also protects dogs from canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, and canine adenovirus type 2. The vaccine may also be called a 6 way or puppyshot vaccine. It is also available as a 9 way vaccine which would include protection from some strains of canine leptospirosis.