What are the main symptoms of canine infectious hepatitis?

Canine infectious hepatitis is a contagious disease caused by canine adenovirus-1 (CAV-1) that affects dogs. The virus is transmitted through contact with infected urine, feces, or saliva from infected dogs ¹. The incubation period is 4-9 days ¹.

The clinical signs of infectious canine hepatitis vary from mild to severe and can include fever, lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and enlarged liver ¹². In severe cases, the disease can cause depression, severe reduction in white blood cells, and deficiency of blood clotting ¹⁴. The mortality rate ranges from 10% to 30% and is typically highest in very young dogs ¹⁵. Concurrent parvoviral or distemper infection worsens the prognosis ¹.

Diagnosis can be made by the use of ELISA, serologic, or PCR testing, and postmortem diagnostics include identification of intranuclear inclusion bodies in the liver, PCR assay, and/or FISH of infected tissue ¹. Treatment is supportive, aimed at maintaining fluid balance, addressing hepatic dysfunction, managing the coagulopathic state, and treating secondary bacterial infections ¹. Vaccination with modified live canine adenovirus-2 is protective against this disease caused by canine adenovirus-1, and is considered a core vaccine ¹.

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Source: Conversation with Bing, 2/2/2024
(1) Infectious Canine Hepatitis – MSD Veterinary Manual. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/generalized-conditions/infectious-canine-hepatitis/infectious-canine-hepatitis.
(2) Understanding hepatitis in dogs – Royal Canin | Royal Canin AU. https://www.royalcanin.com/au/dogs/puppy/canine-hepatitis-in-dogs.
(3) Infectious Canine Hepatitis – Dog Owners – MSD Veterinary Manual. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/dog-owners/disorders-affecting-multiple-body-systems-of-dogs/infectious-canine-hepatitis.
(4) Infectious Hepatitis (Adenovirus) in dogs – PDSA. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/pet-health-hub/conditions/infectious-hepatitis-adenovirus-in-dogs.
(5) Understanding hepatitis in dogs – ROYAL CANIN ® | Royal …. https://www.royalcanin.com/uk/dogs/puppy/canine-hepatitis-in-dogs.

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