(photo credit: http://dogbreedsinfo.org)
Canine infectious hepatitis is caused by an adenovirus type I virus is transmitted through being inhaled or ingested from the secretions stool or urine of infected dog. The incubation period of the virus is between 5-7 days. By this time the virus is present to the liver and the dog is beginning to show clinical signs that include: Lethargy and listlessness vomiting diarrhea and jaundice (yellow coloring of the gums and skin, whites of the eyes).
This disease is most commonly seen in puppies that have not been immunized for canine adenovirus, however, it can be seen in adult dogs that have no previous immunizations of the disease. Older puppies and young adult dogs with strong immune systems often can recover from this disease with simple supportive care such as subcutaneous fluids liver supportive supplements and antibiotics to prevent and/or control secondary infections.
In younger puppies, geriatric dog’s, or dogs with immune compromise, in-hospital treatment with intravenous fluids antibiotics ant nausea medication and other measures need to be taken. Fatality is possible, but if the disease is detected early, mortality rate is generally low.
Canine infectious hepatitis has any effective immunization represented as the H in the core DAH PP canine vaccine. This vaccine is given at 6, 9, and 12 weeks of age. The vaccine is then boosted one year later. Following the one-year booster vaccine is then administered effectively once every 3 years.
Dr. Roger Welton is the President of Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne, FL, Chief Editor of the Veterinary Advice and Information Website, Web-DVM, and founder/CEO of Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care.