Canine Coronavirus Prevention

Canine coronavirus is a highly contagious virus that mainly causes diarrhea in puppies and old dogs. If left untreated, canine coronavirus (CCV) can cause complications or even death, but with the right treatment most cases clear up with no problems. A vaccination is available to prevent the virus and is highly recommended for show dogs and pets that come into contact with other dogs often. Maintaining a clean environment through use of disinfectants, and keeping puppies isolated from unknown dogs or areas where the disease can spread is also essential to prevent the spread of CCV.

Vaccination against Canine Coronavirus

Puppies can be vaccinated against CCV starting from about six weeks of age. Puppies under 12 weeks are most susceptible to the virus so talk to your veterinarian about vaccination options in areas where CCV is common. Because CCV is highly contagious, dogs that frequent kennels, dog shows or other areas where many dogs come into contact with one another should be vaccinated, though many veterinarians will recommended that all dogs be vaccinated against the disease and stay up to date with their vaccines. Talk to your vet about the best option for your pet.

Preventing Transmission of CCV

The CCV vaccine is essential for prevention, but good hygiene is another step to fight canine coronavirus. CCV is a highly contagious disease that can be passed through physical contact with an infected dog. Touching, smelling or licking contaminated feces can cause a dog to become infected with CCV, and he'll start to show symptoms within one to five days. 

The virus can survive in an environment for up to six months, but can be destroyed with disinfectant. Commercial disinfectants should be used in kennels, veterinary offices, and grooming and breeding businesses to prevent the spread of CCV. Because infected dogs may not show signs of carrying the disease, puppies should not be exposed to other dogs unless you know they are vaccinated against CCV. Wash your hands after handling other pets to prevent the spread of CCV and other contagious diseases.

Symptoms of Canine Coronavirus

The main symptom of canine coronavirus is mild to severe diarrhea that generally clears up in a few days, though other symptoms like vomiting, nausea, lethargy and lack of appetite can occur. The diarrhea from a CCV infection is identical to the type caused by parvovirus, and a correct diagnosis can only be obtained with lab tests. If a puppy is infected with both coronavirus and parvovirus, there is a much higher chance of death. Most puppies recover with no complications from a CCV infection, but treatment is essential to prevent complications. Call your vet's office once symptoms appear to determine the best treatment options for your pet. 

Treating Canine Coronavirus

Preventing dehydration is the main treatment for canine coronavirus infections, and subcutaneous or intravenous hydration may be necessary. Antibiotics, anti-diarrhea medication and diet restrictions may also be recommended.