Canine Coronavirus Symptoms

Canine coronavirus is an illness that affects the intestines of a dog that are often around other canines, like in a kennel setting. Most dogs recover well from the coronavirus, but it is important for a pet owner to know the symptoms so proper treatment can be administered.

Canine Coronavirus Explained

When a dog has contracted the enteric coronavirus, he will have stomach flu-like symptoms and have diarrhea for several days. Dogs can catch this virus from other dogs that are ill via contact or by ingesting their feces. The coronavirus is very contagious and it is not unusual for canines in kennels, shelters, race tracks, dog parks or those in the dog show circuit to fall ill with the virus. It is recommended that dogs be vaccinated against the coronavirus since it is so highly contagious. Canine respiratory coronavirus was discovered as recently as 2003 and is known as Group II. Rather than affecting the intestines, Group II affects a dog’s respiratory system. Group II is also highly contagious.

The coronavirus is protected by a fatty membrane and is easy to kill with soaps or detergents formulated to combat grease. Since the virus is spread through the feces of an infected dog, it is important that one use good household cleaners often so the virus does not affect their dog.The treatment for coronavirus is similar to care provided to one with the flu. The dog will want to rest, and one will need to make sure he is kept well-hydrated. Dogs, especially puppies, can develop an infection, so antibiotics may be prescribed by a veterinarian.

Canine Coronavirus Symptoms

There are several symptoms associated with the enteric coronavirus: inflammation of the small intestine (enteritis), diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, fever, dehydration and lethargy. The incubation period of the virus is very short and symptoms will be present in as little as 2 days after exposure.

Diarrhea is when a dog has loose stool, which can be watery, and is due to the poor absorption of nutrients and a lack of enzymes that aid in the digestive process. Signs to look for in a dog’s diarrhea are blood and a lack of mucous: these are indicators of the coronavirus. Diarrhea can last 2 to 4 days in a dog that is ill with this virus. However, a dog can shed the virus in his feces for up to 6 months after being ill.

A dog will become dehydrated when his body does not have enough water in it to function properly. If a dog is dehydrated severely enough, he will need IV fluids to replenish his body and restore the electrolytes lost.  A dog can become dehydrated if he is not drinking enough water, has diarrhea, or has been vomiting. 

When a dog has contracted the respiratory coronavirus, he will cough and sneeze, and will have a runny nose.

When one notices the dog is not feeling well, he should be taken to a veterinary clinic to help ensure his recovery can be quick and easy.