What is canine Coronavirus and how to prevent it?

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coronavirus in a dog

Canine coronavirus is an infectious disease that, although it usually has a good prognosis for recovery, without proper care it can cause major health problems in our dog.

From Dogsis we will explain how this virus is spread, what are the best techniques to prevent it and in case of infection, how we should cure our beloved dog.

Index of contents

  • 1 What is the coronavirus?
  • 2 How is the coronavirus spread among dogs?
    • 2.1 Main symptoms of canine coronavirus
  • 3 Treatment of the coronavirus in dogs
  • 4 Can coronavirus be prevented?

What is the coronavirus?

Coronavirus is caused by a virus that affects dogs regardless of their age, breed, or gender. Despite this, there are some factors that can make the incidence higher, since it is known that puppies are more likely to contract this disease. This is because your immune system and digestive system are still immature.

As with the cold in dogs, It is a disease that has no cure, so it must be spent treating the symptoms. There is no possibility of chronification, since it is an acute course pathology. It is also very infectious, but if it is treated in time, it does not usually leave sequelae in the dog.

coronavirus in a dog

How is the coronavirus spread among dogs?

The route of infection between dogs of the coronavirus is through the faeces. A dog can contract the virus through fecal-oral contact, when you sniff or eat feces from another sick dog.

Therefore, one of the main risk groups, in addition to puppies, are those dogs that present a behavior alteration known as canine coprophagy. In other words, they ingest animal feces for various reasons.

Main symptoms of canine coronavirus

Canine coronavirus begins to cause symptoms in the dog after the incubation period, which usually lasts from 24 to 36 hours. After this phase, the most obvious signs of the disease are:

  • The dog loses its appetite
  • Have a high fever, which can exceed 40ºC
  • Tremble
  • Is lethargic
  • Vomits
  • Shows signs of dehydration
  • Have abdominal pain
  • He suffers from diarrhea, with blood, mucus and a bad smell.

This last symptom is one of the most characteristic of the canine coronavirus and occurs because this virus attacks the microvilli of the intestine. These are important cells for the absorption of nutrients and, by losing functionality, sudden diarrhea appears and the digestive system becomes inflamed.

If you detect one or more of these symptoms in the dog, it is best to take him to the vet as soon as you can, to carry out the necessary tests and make a diagnosis.

sick dog

Treatment of the coronavirus in dogs

During the veterinary consultation the specialist will examine the dog, take note of the symptoms that you have been able to observe and, if it is confirmed that it is a canine coronavirus, he will recommend palliative treatment.

Since there is no cure and you have to wait for the disease to pass, prescription drugs will be to relieve symptoms and prevent possible complications.

The type of medicine to be administered will depend on each individual case. For example, if the dog is dehydrated, its body fluids will need to be replenished. If the dog does not eat, they will give you appetite stimulants. In addition, antivirals will help decrease the viral load and antibiotics will control secondary infections caused by the virus.

Finally, prokinetic drugs, intended to improve the processes of the digestive tract, are also usually prescribed in these cases. They seek to cut diarrhea and prevent vomiting.

It is important that you do not self-medicate the dog, as the wrong medications can cause further damage. And that’s the last thing we want, right? For this reason, always follow the instructions that a professional collegiate gives you and when in doubt, ask at the clinic.

Can coronavirus be prevented?

Yes you can. To prevent a dog from contracting canine coronavirus and to stay healthy, it is essential to keep it away from other sick dogs and to avoid eating animal feces.

In puppies you can follow a diet supplemented with nucleotides, immunoglobulins and prebiotics to strengthen your immune system, prevent coronavirus pathogens from binding to the intestinal lining and stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria that help maintain intestinal balance.

In addition, it is essential to follow the established vaccination program, which the vet can inform you about. On the other hand, maintaining good hygiene and washing your dog’s toys, blankets, and other accessories often also reduces the risk of infection.