Canine Corona Virus (CCV), is is highly contagious viral infection caused by the the virus from Coronaviridae genus.
Canine Corona Virus was discovered in 1971 in Germany during an outbreak in sentry dogs. Recently in 2003, in United Kingdom, a second type of Corona virus [Group II – Canine Respiratory Coronavirus (CRCoV)] has been discovered which resembles the Bovine and Human Coronavirus and is known to cause acute respiratory infection in dogs. Canine Coronavirus is related to the Feline Coronavirus (also known as Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).
Canine Coronavirus can survive in the environment for long periods of time. The virus is species specific (it affect dogs – both wild and domestic).
The most common way of getting infected is via direct contact with oral secretions and infected feces. Once the dog is infected, the virus colonizes and replicates within the small intestine and lymph nodes. It affects the intestinal tract causing severe diarrhea and vomiting. CCV is generally considered a mild infection but if it occurs with other known diseases like Canine Parvovirus (CPV), it can be serious and fatal. Clinical signs can range from fever, diarrhea, vomiting to weakness and dehydration.
Canine Corona Virus (CCV) has a global distribution, it is present everywhere. Dogs with developing immunity (puppies and younger dogs), dogs with weakened immunity from existing infections and medical conditions, senior dogs with lower resistance, dogs living in poor sanitary conditions, unvaccinated dogs are prone to this infection.
Canine Corona Virus (CCV) is caused by the virus from Coronaviridae genus. Infection can spread through
› Direct contact with the infected dog
› Direct contact with oral secretions
› Contact with Infected Feces or urine
› From Contaminated areas such as parks, dog walking areas, play grounds.
Clinical Signs & Symptoms
The incubation period for CCV is between 2 to 4 days. clinical signs seen are:
› Anorexia (Loss of Appetite)
› Pyrexia (Fever)
› Weight loss
› Vomiting (possibly with blood)
› Diarrhea (Loose stools) (often bloody diarrhea)
Diagnosing Canine Corona Virus (CCV) can be tricky as it mimics symptoms of Canine Parvovirus (CPV).
Veterinarians will require a complete history of your dog which includes medical history, vaccination records, existing health concerns, current and previous medications, onset of symptoms, diet and exercise routine and any information which can help in establishing a correct diagnosis. Diagnosis is done with a combination of tests. These include routine lab examinations and special tests which can detect the presence of the virus. They are:
› Physical examination
› Complete Blood Count (CBC)
› Fecal Examination
› Biochemical profile- to check glucose levels, kidney function and electrolyte level
Treatment consists of:
› Antibiotic medications
› Drugs to treat secondary illnesses and diseases
› Fluid therapy
› Use of IV fluids
› Medications to control and stop vomiting and diarrhea.
› Prescribed diet
The pet needs to be isolated from other pets till its fully recovered. Dogs should not eat or drink till vomiting has completely stopped.
Vaccination is the single most effective way to prevent Canine Corona Virus (CCV). However, this virus can survive for long periods and can be easily spread by oral secretions and contamination.
› Vaccination: Multiple vaccinations of pups beginning at 6–8 weeks of age are recommended. Further isolation of the pet from large populations of dogs until the pet is fully vaccinated will limit exposure to the virus.
› Environment: Because the virus is present worldwide, cleaning the areas where the pet has vomited and had diarrhea with a 10% bleach solution, Parvosol, or other hospital disinfectant is recommended.
› It is important to isolate young puppies as much as possible from other dogs and from potential sources of infection until they complete the vaccination series at 20 to 24 weeks of age.
Home care should aim at improving the condition. Treatments can take anywhere between 4 to 7 days. If you observe any behavioral changes, or if the condition does not improve, please contact your veterinarian.
› Vaccination is the single most effective way to prevent the infection. Puppy vaccination schedule should be followed. Do not miss or skip any vaccines. Please keep in mind puppies get their initial immunity from their mothers milk, vaccines are meant to stimulate and enhance the immunity system.
› It is mandatory to provide a stress-free environment for your dog. Keep water and food bowls within reach. Avoid physical activity. Keep your dogs away from any noise and commotions.
› You have to administer and monitor all prescribed medicine as directed by your veterinarian.
› Do NOT travel with your dog.
› Do NOT allow your dog to roam freely. This works two ways, firstly if the pet is infected, it greatly reduces the chances of risk of exposure to other pets and humans and secondly in-case of a healthy pet, it reduces the chances of contracting the infection.
› Use of environmental disinfectants is recommended. Prompt disposal of any and all materials after use is suggested.
› Routine and regular checkups to access the progress, further tests may be advised. If Coronavirus occurs simultaneously with Parvovirus, further tests may be advised this includes Liver and kidney function tests, blood tests. Monitor and administer all medications as directed by your veterinarian and complete the dosage.
› Humans, especially children, pregnant women and ones handling infected pets need to exercise caution. Wear gloves when dealing with a pet, cleaning the litter boxes, disposing any and all contaminated materials, garbage disposals etc. A thorough wash of hands is advised. Practice hygiene.
› If left untreated or any delay in treatment, Coronavirus can cause severe kidney and liver damage. Special emphasis needs to be given on diet. A well planned, healthy, nutritious and balanced diet is recommended. Try to avoid raw foods. Veterinarians usually suggest a low protein diet for liver and kidney recovery.
› Care is crucial as the pet can become severely dehydrated and very weak. Once vomiting and diarrhea as completely stopped, please consult your veterinarian for a diet plan.