Everything You Need to Know About Canine Coronavirus

For the past few months, you can’t turn on the news without hearing about COVID-19. Coronavirus is on everyone’s mind, but did you know that dogs can get a strain of coronavirus too?

Today we’re going to take a look at what you need to know about Canine Coronavirus and how to keep your dog safe.

What is Canine Coronavirus?

Canine Coronavirus, also known as CCoV, is a very infectious disease in dogs. This virus is especially infectious for very young puppies. The virus causes gastrointestinal problems only in dogs.

The virus gets its name solely based on its shape. When looked at under great magnification, the outline of the virus looks like a crown. It resembles a metal ring affixed with small ornamentation. Once it was discovered, the name just stuck.

I Thought COVID-19 Didn’t Affect Pets

That is correct for the most part. There have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 infecting animals, but these examples are very rare. As of this time, there have been less than 20 cases of animals getting infected with COVID-19 from a human. Compare this to the thousands of pets who have not been infected by their owners.

There has been research that shows animals can spread COVID-19, but they almost never get infected themselves. It seems that any animals that do get infected with COVID-19 also have very mild symptoms and completely recover.

COVID-19 is a version of coronavirus, but it is not the same as Canine Coronavirus. While COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease that infects humans, CCoV is intestinal and only infects dogs.

Transmission of Canine Coronavirus

CCoV is a very infectious disease for dogs, so it can be spread very easily. It spreads either through a dog’s saliva and feces. As you can imagine, an infected dog has a good chance of passing the disease to another dog that it comes in close contact with.

This is why a litter of puppies are easily infected. Anyone who’s seen puppies know that they use their mouths to explore their environment. They also are prone to having accidents. This means that CCoV has a chance to infect a puppy’s area and get their siblings sick as well. If a dog lives in a crowded and unsanitary place, their chances of getting sick are much more likely.

Symptoms of Canine Coronavirus

Because CCoV is a disease that affects a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, most symptoms are related to eating and elimination. Symptoms of CCoV include:

  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Feces that is watery, orange in color, and smell badly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Fever and vomiting may develop but is less common

While cleaning up after a sick dog might not be very fun, the good news is that CCoV is not fatal as long as you treat the symptoms. Because your dog may be vomiting or have diarrhea, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of fresh water around to ensure they do not become dehydrated.

How To Treat Canine Coronavirus

Because CCoV is caused by a virus, antibiotics do not work to treat it. It is important that you help your dog as soon as possible though. There is no medication for CCoV, but you must treat the symptoms. Your dog will have diarrhea and may be vomiting, it’s important to clean up after them. Make sure their area is clean and fresh water is available for them. It’s also important to keep any other pets away from a dog infected with CCoV since the disease spreads so easily.

The incubation period for CCoV is one to four days and an infected dog will be symptomatic between two and ten days. If your dog has diarrhea for more than one day, you should go see your vet. The most dangerous part of CCoV is dehydration, and a dog who is not taking fluids may need intravenous fluids to help balance their electrolytes.

Any dog who becomes infected with CCoV can carry the disease for up to 180 days after their symptoms resolve. It might be unreasonable to keep your dog away from other dogs for that period of time, but just be mindful when you let your dog come in contact with other dogs.

Canine coronavirus is a serious disease, but if you help your dog as soon as they become ill, there should be no lasting effects.

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