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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Coronavirus (Canine Coronavirus)

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Condition Overview

Canine coronavirus is a contagious intestinal infection that usually produces a mild disease. It can, however, be severe in young puppies and dogs who are stressed by concurrent infections. The distribution is worldwide, and dogs of all ages are affected.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from none (the most common form) to outbreaks of acute diarrhea, typically occurring in a community of dogs. Dehydration can occur if the diarrhea is severe. The first signs of illness are depression with loss of appetite, followed by vomiting and the passage of foul-smelling, yellow to orange diarrhea that varies from soft to watery. The diarrhea may contain blood. Unlike parvovirus, fever is not common.

Causes

Coronavirus is transmitted by contact with infected oral and fecal secretions. Following infection, the virus is shed in the stool for many months.

Diagnosis

There is no readily available test to diagnose coronavirus during the acute illness. A rise in antibody titer in serum tested at the time of illness and 2-6 weeks later can provide a retrospective diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment is supportive, and includes maintaining hydration and controlling vomiting and diarrhea, as described for the treatment of parvovirus. Antibiotics are not prescribed because of the mild nature of most infections.

Prevention

A vaccine is available to control coronavirus. However, because coronavirus is rarely fatal and tends to respond well to treatment, vaccination is not recommended.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet may have this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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