CANINE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE
What is coronavirus disease?
disease is a variable intestinal infection of dogs that is usually
short-lived, but may cause considerable discomfort for a few days.
The cause is a virus of the Coronavirus family. The virus gets its
name from the fact that when viewed from above under an electron
microscope the virus has a ring of projections which appear like a
coronet. Different coronaviruses cause infections in many species of
animals and birds. People are not affected by Canine Coronavirus.
is coronavirus transmitted?
Infected dogs usually shed the virus in their feces and saliva for
one to two weeks, sometimes longer. The virus is then ingested from
contaminated food bowls or by direct contact with an infected dog.
Crowding and unsanitary conditions favor transmission. The
incubation period from ingestion to clinical signs is one to five
What are the signs of coronavirus?
Many infections are subclinical or mild and transient. Occasional
infections and outbreaks are more severe, particularly in young
pups. Mixed infections, for instance with parvovirus (see
Parvovirus Disease) may intensify the disease. Coronavirus
diarrhea is typically sudden in onset, accompanied by lethargy and
decreased appetite. The stool is loose, mushy with a fetid odor and
orange tint. It may contain blood or mucus.
Are there diseases that can be confused with
There are many causes of diarrhea in dogs. Severe cases of
coronavirus can be easily confused with parvovirus, and they may
occur at the same time. Be sure to see your veterinarian if your dog
has diarrhea that does not resolve within 24 hours or is associated
with significant lethargy and/or loss of appetite.
there any treatment?
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Antibiotics are
ineffective against viruses, but may be useful in controlling
secondary bacterial problems. Withholding food until 24 hours after
diarrhea ceases and gradually reintroducing may be sufficient.
Dehydration is usually corrected with intravenous fluids. Early
medical intervention is the key to successfully treating severe
cases of coronavirus infection.
coronavirus vaccines have been developed in recent years, and are
becoming more widely used in routine vaccination programs.