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Canine Adenovirus PDF Print E-mail

Infectious Canine Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis is a viral infection of the liver caused by canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). The virus is spread by body fluids including blood, saliva, nasal discharge, feces, and urine. Recovered patients can shed the virus for up to nine months in the urine. Transmission is by contact with an infected dog or the immediate environment.

Clinical Signs

Symptoms include fever, depression, loss of appetite, coughing, and occasionally pneumonia. Corneal edema may occur causing a cloudy or bluish appearance to the eyes. Signs of liver disease that may occur include jaundice, vomiting, and even hepatic encephalopathy. Death can occur if the liver is severely infected

 Risk Factors

All unvaccinated dogs are at risk, however, the disease is most prevalent and severe in patients under one year of age.

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for this infection involves non-specific supportive therapy (IV fluids, nausea medications, antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections, liver supplements). The standard canine distemper vaccine is the most effective means of preventing adenovirus infection. Most vaccines protect against both type 1 and type 2 adenovirus infections. Type 2 (CAV-2) is a cause of cough in the canine similar to parainfluenza virus or bordetella infections.