PCR Testing for Canine Herpes

Canine herpes, also known as CHV, is a dog virus that can affect both puppies and adults. The canine herpes infection is transmitted from the reproductive organs or respiratory tracts of infected dogs. Puppies often contract the illness during birth or shortly thereafter and CHV is the leading cause of puppy death. Adult dogs can transmit the disease to other dogs through licking, sniffing or sexual contact.

Symptoms of Herpes Dog Virus Difficult to Detect

The symptoms of canine herpes in adult dogs are often hard to detect. Though genital sores may be present it is more likely to see kennel cough in males and stillborns in females. In puppies there are many more symptoms that may alert you to the possibility of canine herpes. If the pup is obviously weak and unable to suckle and has nasal discharge or discolored feces, it is imperative you take him in for diagnosis. Canine herpes can be fatal in as little as 24 hours so prompt attention is required.

Diagnosis and Dog Treatment for Herpes

Diagnosis is most often done through Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. This is a DNA test that uses blood and tissue samples to determine if any virus is in the genetic material. To treat CHV the animal is given antiviral medication and kept quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus to other animals. The virus also cannot survive at higher temperatures so the dog is kept very warm.