Canine Infectious Hepatitis (CAV)
This is caused by Canine Adenovirus. It is more commonly seen in animals under 1 year, but all unvaccinated dogs are susceptible. This virus is spread by direct contact with infected urine, saliva and faeces and the virus can live in the environment for months.
Incubation period is 4-7 days.
The virus targets the liver, kidneys, eyes and lungs.
The clinical signs can include:
- Lack of appetite
- Pale gums
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- And many develop jaundice.
In some cases, the disease can cause sudden death with no clinical signs having been apparent.
Treatment is again supportive to reduce the severity of clinical signs as there is no specific treatment while the virus runs its course.
Vaccination against Canine adenovirus gives a three-year immunity before the vaccine needs repeating.
Canine Parvo Virus (CPV)
This is more commonly seen in dogs under 1 year but can also be seen in unvaccinated dogs, this is one of the preventable diseases that we do see.
The disease is spread via infected faeces and the virus is highly resistant, which means it can survive in the environment for months on bowls, carpets, kennels and grass and can be spread on shoes, clothes and hands.
Incubation period is 5-7 days
Clinical signs include:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Smelly, bloody diarrhoea
There are no drugs that will kill the parvo virus, so treatment of infected dogs usually involves hospitalisation and intensive supportive care, unfortunately some dogs will die from parvo virus infection.
Vaccination against parvo gives a three-year immunity before the vaccine needs repeating.
This viral infection is spread through the air by aerosol droplets and direct contact with infected dogs, once again there is no known cure for the Distemper virus. This virus cannot survive easily in the environment.
Incubation period is usually 1-2 weeks but can be as long as 4-5 weeks.
Early signs of the disease include runny eyes, nose and a persistent cough with a high temperature.
This is followed by lethargy and tiredness, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea.
In later stages dogs may develop thickened foot pads known as ‘hard pad’. This can then progress to neurological signs such as fits and paralysis.
Again, there is no specific treatment other than supportive care with fluids, medication to help with the vomiting, diarrhoea and fits. If treatment is started early there is a good chance of a dog making a full recovery however if neurological signs have developed it is more likely to cause ongoing health problems or death.
Vaccination against Distemper virus gives a three-year immunity before the vaccine needs repeating.
This is a bacterial infection which is spread via the urine of an infected animal. This is either by direct contact with infected urine or via contact with contaminated water. Rats and other rodents are usually the source although infected dogs can pass out the bacteria in their urine.
Incubation is anywhere form 4-20 days.
Leptospirosis can have a wide range of symptoms but soon after infection a high temperature can develop. The bacteria can then cause severe liver or kidney disease. Dogs may show varying symptoms including lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, abdominal pain, urinating more frequently or only passing very small amounts or urine or no urine whatsoever, if the liver is affected they may also develop a yellow tinge to the whites of their eyes or gums.
Treatment is a combination of supportive care and specific antibiotics.
Vaccination against Leptospirosis gives a year of immunity so annual vaccination is required to provide cover.