Canine coronavirus infection (CCV) sounds intimidating, as well it should be, because it is a highly contagious disease that can be found in dogs all over the world.  It is specific to dogs and replicates itself inside the small intestine.  In most cases, the disease can be treated and is not serious.  In fact, some dogs don’t even show symptoms. However, if a CCV infection occurs simultaneously with a viral canine parvovirus infection, the consequences could be more serious.

Most adult dogs with canine coronavirus will show no symptoms, however dogs that do show symptoms will experience:

•    Lack of appetite
•    Dog depression
•    Vomiting and diarrhea
•    Mild respiratory problems
•    Inflammation of the small intestine

How do dogs contract CCV?
The most common way for dogs to get CCV is when they are exposed to feces from an infected dog.  Dogs that are overly stressed from over-intensive graining, over-crowding and live in unsanitary conditions are more susceptible to the virus.  Places where dogs gather, such as dog parks or shelters are the most likely locations for the virus to spread.

How is CCV diagnosed?
A veterinarian will need to administer a few tests before diagnosing your dog with CCV.  This is because the virus usually has some symptoms in common with other conditions such as food intoxication or intolerance. 

How is CCV treated?
When it comes to treating CCV, puppies need the most intensive care because they are more vulnerable.  Most healthy adult dogs will recover from the infection on their own without medication.  Antibiotics can be given to dogs that have complications such as respiratory problems or blood poisoning.  It is possible for some dogs to have severe vomiting or diarrhea as a result of CCV, usually leading to the need for extra fluid and electrolyte treatment. When a dog is suffering from dog diarrhea, or taking an antibiotic, it is a good idea to administer a probiotic, such as Canine Fortiflora, which will help to bring balance back to the intestinal tract. Further monitoring of your dog is not needed after he has recovered, however, if you have another pet it is important to keep them away from the feces of the previously infected dog as there could still be remnants of the virus in the dog’s feces.

How can you prevent CCV?
The best way to prevent canine coronavirus is by keeping your dog away from other dogs that have been diagnosed with it.  Keep your household clean and sanitary and always clean after your dog right away if it has been infected with CCV to ensure that other dogs do not become infected.  Also, if CCV is a big concern for you, there is a vaccine available.  It is normally reserved for dogs that are most vulnerable, like puppies, show dogs and shelter dogs.  Your veterinarian can also give you tips on what to do to keep your dog CCV free.

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