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An overview of canine coronavirus

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Posted on May 27 2018

Gastroenteritis canine coronavirus, also known as canine enteric coronavirus, or simply canine coronavirus, is a highly contagious intestinal disease originally discovered in German military sentinel dogs in 1971. This dog virus, which is similar to the virus that causes feline infectious peritonitis, spread throughout the world in dogs within the ten years of the initial outbreak in Germany.



What Canine Coronavirus Is

Coronavirus is a genus of animal virus that belongs to the Coronaviridae family. The envelope of the virus looks like a corona with an electron microscope, hence the name. Coronaviruses mainly infect the upper resiratory and the gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds. Human coronaviruses include the common cold and SARS or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Canine coronavirus is a highly contagious viral disease that affects the small intestine of dogs. Puppies younger than six weeks are especially vulnerable. The virus invades and replicates in the villi, small extensions in the form of fingers that leave the wall of the small intestine. Vellosidades in Latin means "bristly hair." The virus damages the villi, and creates serious injuries. This affects the ability of the dog to digest food, as the villi of the small intestine help absorb nutrients by increasing the surface area of ​​the mucosa of the small intestine.

Canine coronavirus has mutated into a second form, canine respiratory coronavirus. This mutation causes respiratory disease in dogs and was originally discovered in the United Kingdom in 2003 and has spread to Europe, Japan and North America.

How is the disease spread

This virus is transmitted from dog through an oral fecal route. The virus is not affected by the acidic environment of the stomach, and does not affect the colon: the epithelial surface of the small intestine is the target. The virus is present in the stool for six to nine days after infection, and dogs have occasionally been still losing the virus in the stool for six months after infection.

Symptoms and diagnosis

The incubation period of the virus is one to three days, and symptoms may appear suddenly. Vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, depression and apathy are all symptoms. The stool can be bloody and full of mucus, and have a particularly malodorous foul odor. Confirmation of the disease is made by examining the fresh stool with an electron microscope, or the fresh small bowel examination of a deceased dog. The deepening of the crypts, as well as atrophy and fusion of the villi in the small intestine will indicate coronaviruses.

Hazards related to Coronavirus

Dogs with coronavirus usually have mild symptoms, if any, and deaths are rare. Puppies under six weeks old are the most vulnerable. The real danger with the coronavirus is that it makes the puppy more susceptible to parvovirus, and a puppy with both diseases is in a life-threatening situation.

Treatment and Prevention

Coronavirus is not curable, by itself, and the dog must recover on its own. Treatment for diarrhea alone may be sufficient, or intravenous fluids may be necessary for a more serious case. Prevention is done by keeping the cage clean, as the coronavirus is killed by most common disinfectants. There is a vaccine available, although a dog vaccinated against parvovirus is considered safe from the danger of dual infection. Breeders and owners show the dog may consider vaccination against the coronavirus an option because of the susceptibility of a puppy, and the high exposure of a dog show.

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