Herpes Vaccine for Dogs

The herpes virus (CHV) is a virus that causes bleeding. It affects mostly puppies and may be prevented through the early administration of the herpes vaccine. The virus may be fatal, as the bleeding can be severe.

CHV in Puppies

CHV can be transmitted from an infected mother. The virus may also be contracted through contact with saliva or nasal secretions of an infected dog. The herpes virus is rarely contracted through air. The virus will multiply in the nose or mouth of the puppy and will extend to the rest of the body. The main symptoms in puppies will include:

  • Hemorrhaging of the blood vessels
  • General state of weakness
  • Nasal and ocular discharges, often with eye lesions
  • Excessive drooling
  • Yellowish feces
  • Diarrhea
  • No sucking reflex
  • Bruised belly
  • Fever

More than 80% of puppies under the age of three weeks infected with CHV will die within a week of contracting the virus. Older puppies may have higher chances of survival, provided they receive corticosteroid medication. The incubation period for the virus is between seven and ten days.

Herpes Virus in Adult Canines

In adult dogs, the herpes virus will not be fatal, but can cause different complications including:

  • Abortion in pregnant females
  • Infertility
  • Stillbirth
  • Kennel cough

The virus will be highly contagious through sexual contact or contact with saliva or the nasal secretions. The symptoms of CHV include:

  • Eye lesions
  • Skin lesions
  • Sores on the reproductive system
  • Nasal and ocular discharges
  • Vaginal or penile discharges

The dogs infected with the virus should be isolated and should not be bred.

Herpes Vaccine

The herpes vaccine is relatively new and was first introduced in 2003. The vaccine is known as Eurican Herpes 205, and may be administered to puppies to prevent infection with the herpes virus. The vaccine is only effective in preventing the infestation from other dogs with CHV. The vaccine cannot possibly prevent the infection of a puppy from the mother through the birth canal.

If the mother is suspected to have the herpes virus, she should receive a vaccine while she is in heat, during early pregnancy and another vaccine 14 days before giving birth. This may prevent the puppies from getting the infection.

Other Means of Preventing CHV

CHV may be successfully prevented with the herpes vaccine, but the vaccine is not 100% effective. CHV can be prevented through isolating the dogs that carry the virus and neutering them, preventing them from breeding. The virus may also be eliminated with commercial detergents of bleach, which kill the virus. The virus cannot survive if outside a host for more than 24 hours. However, the bedding and environment of a dog with CHV should be cleaned, especially in a multiple dog household. The canine herpes virus cannot be transmitted to humans.