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Causes and symptoms of infectious canine hepatitis
The contagious dog disease, infectious canine hepatitis, can also infect some wildlife carnivores such as coyotes, bears, and foxes. Vaccinations are available for infectious canine hepatitis. Puppies under the age of one are most susceptible to infectious canine hepatitis.
A puppy should not be vaccinated for infectious canine hepatitis until the puppy is at least nine weeks old. Puppies may be most susceptible to infectious canine hepatitis, but dogs of any age that have not been vaccinated are at risk for contracting this viral infection.
This dog disease is a viral infection that is spread by contact with a dog that has the infection or contaminated body fluids such as saliva, nasal discharge, and urine. Food dishes, cages, and other items can also become contaminated.
A fever, cough, and sore throat are the first signs of infectious canine hepatitis. The viral infection spreads to the liver, kidneys, and eyes of the dog. A low white blood cell count is often caused by infectious canine hepatitis.
A dog that has acquired a hepatitis infection may develop a bluish tint to its corneas. The eyes may appear cloudy and may become sensitive to light. Dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and seizures.
Infectious canine hepatitis can cause bleeding problems. The dog may have nosebleeds or bleeding gums. Some dogs with this disease develop swelling of the head, neck, and trunk and hematomas which are collections of blood under the skin.
Typical veterinary care for dogs infected with infectious canine hepatitis includes an antibiotics and intravenous fluids as supportive care. There is no medication to specifically treat infectious canine hepatitis. Dogs may need blood transfusions as part of treatment for severe cases.
This dog disease is potentially fatal. The dog may die within hours of the onset of symptoms. The dogs that are most susceptible to dying from this disease are young puppies.
A dog can continue to spread this dog disease in its urine for up to nine months even if the dog has been treated and has recovered. Humans cannot contract this dog disease. Hepatitis that affects humans is a different disease.