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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Pseudorabies (Aujesky's Disease) View In Dogs




Condition Overview

The earliest reports of a disease suspected to be pseudorabies were in 1813 in the United States, describing a condition in cattles characterized by severe itching and called mad itch. In 1902 A Hungarian veterinarian, A.


Swine are usually asymptomatic, but PRV can cause abortion, high mortality in piglets, and coughing, sneezing, fever, constipation, depression, seizures, ataxia, circling, and excess salivation in piglets and mature pigs. Mortality in piglets less than one month of age is close to 100 percent, but it is less than 10 percent in pigs between one and six months of age.

In cattle, symptoms include intense itching followed by neurological signs and death.

In dogs, symptoms include intense itching, jaw and pharyngeal paralysis, howling, and death. In cats, the disease is so rapidly fatal that there are usually no symptoms. Any infected secondary host generally only lives two to three days.


The virus is shed in the saliva and nasal secretions of infected swine and is spread through oral or nasal contact. Aerosolization of the virus and transmission by fomites also may occur. The virus may potentially survive for seven hours in humid air and spread up to two kilometers. Furthermore, it may survive on well water for up to seven hours, in green grass, soil, and feces for up to two days, in contaminated feed for up to three days, and in straw bedding for up to four days.


Diagnosis is made through an ELISA test.



Vaccines are available for swine. There are eradication programs in the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2004 the commercial swine population of the United States was declared free of pseudorabies, but the disease remained in feral pig populations.


Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet may be infected with this disease.

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