Canine Hepatitis – A Quick Study
Canine hepatitis or canine infectious hepatitis is a health condition in dogs where the lever is affecting. The degree of severity may vary from one dog to another. While one may show mild infection, another may show severe conditions, and for some, it may be fatal. Hence, it is not a disease that can be ignored. The disease does not have any choice for dog breed or geographical location. Any dog, anywhere in the world that is not vaccinated, is susceptible to this health problem. A study shows that of all the cases of canine hepatitis, puppies are the most affected lot. It is therefore suggested that every dog, puppy or adult, be vaccinated so that the disease can be prevented.
The primary culprit for the outbreak of the disease is a virus called CAV-1, which is the abbreviated form of canine adenovirus type-1. The virus spreads via body fluids like urine and nasal discharge. Coming in contact with the infected animal, using a contaminated kennel or eating contaminated food can also lead to the spreading of the virus.
In the case of mild canine hepatitis, the dogs may develop some cough, have a fever, become lethargic, and lose their appetite. Those dogs which suffer from acute canine hepatitis will have severe clinical symptoms, which will include diarrhea, high fever, seizures, and vomiting, as well as bluish or cloudy eyes. Acute cases generally require hospitalization, and such severe cases can be fatal for dogs in case of improper treatment of delayed treatment. The reason why canine hepatitis must be taken so seriously is that the CAV-1 virus affects the liver, which is one of the several vital organs of the body.
There are some other severe symptoms of canine hepatitis, which can help you to identify the disease. Here are some of them:
· Bruising and under skin bleeding.
· Trunk, neck, and head swelling, which is also known as edema.
· Abdominal fluid accumulation.
· Onset of jaundice.
· Runny nose and eyes.
Diagnosis: There are several methods in which the virus can be detected in the body. Generally, blood tests are conducted in culmination with clinical signs and the stages of the disease. A fall in white blood cell count may also be seen in the early stages. Urine tests and radiographs are often performed.
Treatment: Pointing out a specific treatment for the disease is not easy because canine hepatitis does not have any particular treatment. In general, the virus will run its course, and the other treatment method is to control and manage the symptoms. Hospitalization may become extremely necessary in case of a severe condition. Administering fluids intravenously may become necessary. Some antibiotics may be prescribed. Indeed, medicines are not for the fighting virus. They are meant for fighting bacterial. The antibiotics are prescribed to keep secondary bacterial infection. There may be situations where blood transfusion becomes necessary.
Prevention: canine hepatitis can be prevented using the vaccines available. It is also suggested to vaccinate against the CAV-2 virus. CAV-2 stands for canine adenovirus type-2. The CAD to vaccination will not only prevent the CAV-1 infection, causing canine hepatitis but also prevent respiratory illness, which is primarily caused by type 2 canine adenovirus. The CAV-1 vaccination may have potential side effects, and hence, CAV-2 vaccination very often replaces the CAV-1 injection. The other preventive measure is to destroy the virus. This can be done by proper steam cleaning of the environment in your house and using ammonium compounds that are known to neutralize the virus.
There is no easy trick to prevent canine hepatitis apart from those mentioned, and there is no natural cure for the same. You have to be preventive and follow treatment protocols when canine hepatitis infects your dog. That’s how you can save your dog!