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Infectious Canine Hepatitis

Infectious Canine Hepatitis


    

Infectious Canine Hepatitis

by Moses Wright

Infectious canine hepatitis is a dog disease that is contagious and can also infect wildlife carnivores like bears, coyotes, and foxes. A vaccination for infectious canine hepatitis can prevent this disease. Infectious canine hepatitis most commonly affects puppies under one year of age.

A puppy should not be vaccinated for infectious canine hepatitis until the puppy is at least nine weeks old. Puppies may be most susceptible to infectious canine hepatitis, but dogs of any age that have not been vaccinated are at risk for contracting this viral infection.

This dog disease is a viral infection that is spread by contact with a dog that has the infection or contaminated body fluids such as saliva, nasal discharge, and urine. Food dishes, cages, and other items can also become contaminated.

The first symptoms of infectious canine hepatitis are typically a fever, sore throat, and coughing. Then, the disease may begin to affect the kidneys, liver, and eyes. One of the most common symptoms of infectious canine hepatitis is a low white blood cell count.

A dog that has acquired a hepatitis infection may develop a bluish tint to its corneas. The eyes may appear cloudy and may become sensitive to light. Dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and seizures.

Bleeding problems are common with dogs that have infectious canine hepatitis. Dogs may have bleeding gums or nosebleeds. Some dogs develop swelling and hematomas which are collections of blood under the skin. Swelling from infectious canine hepatitis is most likely to be at the head, neck, or trunk of the dog.

There is no fast cure for infectious canine hepatitis. The veterinary treatment is antibiotics and supportive care with intravenous fluids. In severe cases, the dog may need a blood transfusion.

This dog disease is potentially fatal. The dog may die within hours of the onset of symptoms. The dogs that are most susceptible to dying from this disease are young puppies.

The urine of a dog that was treated for infectious canine hepatitis can still be contaminated and spread the disease for up to nine months even if the dog has fully recovered. Humans are not in danger of contracting hepatitis from dogs. The hepatitis that can infect humans is not the same as infectious canine hepatitis.

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