Canine Coronavirus (CCV) is an intestinal disease that can affect any dog. It's highly contagious and can leave your dog feeling very unwell. CCV is not related to COVID-19, a human-spread form of coronavirus, and it does not affect the respiratory tract. However, without prompt treatment, CCV can be fatal. Your dog can be exposed to CCV through contact with contaminated faeces, and dog's with a weakened immune system are at an increased risk of contracting the infection. Here's an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for CCV.
Symptoms of CCV can include vomiting and loss of appetite. Diarrhoea is also common and may be green or orange in appearance. These gastric symptoms can cause your dog to lose weight rapidly and become dehydrated, which can lead to organ damage and even death. Other symptoms of CCV include low mood and lethargy, which may present as loss of interest in play or social contact. Your dog may also experience abdominal pain, which can cause them to display irritation at being petted or handled.
Diagnosis And Treatment Approach
Your vet will diagnose your dog with CCV by taking details of their symptoms and conducting a physical exam. Blood and urine samples will be taken to check for raised inflammatory markers, organ function and signs of infection. Additionally, a stool sample will be analysed to check for viral strands, which can be carried along the intestines with faecal matter and deposited when your dog opens their bowels.
Treatment for CCV can vary depending on the severity of the symptoms but can include intravenous fluids and nutritional support to correct dehydration and anti-inflammatories to help the irritated gastrointestinal tract heal. Antibiotics may also be prescribed, and your dog will be monitored closely by your vet until their symptoms subside. During recovery, your dog may need their diet to be amended until their intestines heal, and your vet can provide advice on how to feed your dog a soft diet that's gentle on their gastrointestinal system and provides the correct nutrition for optimal health. You'll need to sanitise your dog's living environment to prevent reinfection, and you should bear in mind that your dog can pass CCV to other dogs through their faeces, so take advice from your vet on the safest way to meet your dog's toileting needs without putting other dogs at risk.
If your dog has symptoms associated with CCV, schedule an urgent appointment with your vet clinic to prevent them from suffering unnecessarily.