Hepatitis in dogs is a highly contagious viral disease. The liver is mainly affected by this disease. However, the virus can also damage other organs. This article will discuss hepatitis in canines.
As you just learned, this disease is caused by a virus. This virus is known as canine adenovirus type 1, or CAV-1 for short. Most dogs get infected when they come into direct contact with an infected dog. Your dog can also become infected via contaminated body fluids. The disease can also be transmitted by various parasites. They include ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes.
This condition comes in two forms, namely acute and severe. The acute form causes symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. Other common signs include pale gums, swollen lymph nodes, and yellowish eyes. If your dog’s liver also swells up, he may stop eating.
Dogs with the acute form of this disease usually recover after a week or so. Dogs that develop the severe form may die. This form usually causes bloody diarrhea and vomit. Your dog may also bleed from his gums and nose. Comas or seizures may also occur if severe damage is done to the liver.
Your dog may have to be hospitalized to treat a mild case of this disease. Treatment involves giving intravenous fluids to combat dehydration that can be brought on by the diarrhea or vomiting. Additional supportive care may also be necessary.
Unfortunately, dogs with hepatitis won’t receive a specific treatment. The severe form of this disease can be fatal within a week. Sometimes, an infected dog can die within mere hours of showing symptoms. Fortunately, the acute form offers a better chance for recovery.
The vaccine to guard against dog hepatitis is usually given to puppies. Unvaccinated adults can also get the vaccine shot. The vaccine can be made with either type 1 or type 2 adenovirus. Although type 1 is responsible for this disease, a vaccine containing type 2 will also help prevent it.
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