Vaccinations can help your dog avoid some serious problems, including a contagious type of hepatitis called canine adenovirus. This virus can cause serious problems, especially when combined with certain risk factors such as age or a weakened immune system. Fortunately, though, there are some ways to prevent and treat this disease. Here is more information about canine adenovirus and its risk factors, prevention, and treatment.
What is Canine Adenovirus?
Canine adenovirus is a DNA virus that can seriously affect your dog's liver and bodily systems. There are two forms of this virus. Adenovirus 1 is the more serious one that causes a liver infection and can also affect the kidneys. Adenovirus 2 is generally a respiratory disease and is frequently seen with tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough.
Dogs most often get this disease by coming into contact with the bodily fluids and secretions, such as urine and feces, of an infected dog. The symptoms vary depending on how healthy your dog is as well as if your dog has been vaccinated. Some dogs may only exhibit a mild loss of appetite while others could have high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and bleeding from the mouth.
What are the Risk Factors for Canine Adenovirus?
Dogs who are unvaccinated are at the greatest risk of getting this disease. If your dog spends a lot of time in closed spaces with other unvaccinated or sick dogs or has frequent contact with wild or stray dogs, then he or she is at an elevated risk. The virus has a long life, so your dog can still get the disease long after the infected dog has left the area.
How is Canine Adenovirus Treated and Prevented?
Since your dog is dealing with a virus, the treatment is mostly focused on alleviating the symptoms and letting the disease run its course. The aggressiveness of the treatment depends on the severity of symptoms. You dog may need to be treated with IV fluids, electrolytes, and possibly even blood transfusions. The best prevention is getting your dog vaccinated and following up on booster shots.
Canine adenovirus is a serious disease that can cause severe problems to your dog's liver and overall health. Getting pet vaccinations for your dog and seeing a veterinarian for treatment is the best way to keep your dog comfortable and healthy. Ask your veterinarian about the booster frequency and be sure to have your dog examined at regular intervals. Any time your dog is acting like he or she is sick, or you have questions about vaccinations, call or visit your veterinarian for more information.