Dog diseases: The main infectious diseases

Rabies, parvovirus, distemper, coronavirus, know the main infectious diseases that affect your dog

We will quickly explain the infectious diseases of dogs. In this post, we will discuss the main infectious diseases. Infectious diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria or rickettsiae and generally have a systematic behavior, that is, they affect several organs of the dog.

Canine rabies:

Rabies is a very old disease and transmitted by the bite of an infected animal, in dogs the greatest form of contamination is by the bite of another infected dog or contaminated bats and rats. The virus, when inoculated in the host, has a tropism by the nerve cells and reaches the brain causing a series of symptoms, the most common symptom being hydrophobia (or aversion to water). Within one to three days of infection, the dog exhibits behavioral changes. The second phase lasts from 3 to 6 days and is called a hyperactive or excitatory stage, where the dog has exaggerated signs of aggression and of wanting to bite everything it finds ahead. The third period is the paralytic phase, due to injury to motor neurons, paralysis of motor functions begins to occur, until paralysis of the respiratory function arrives, leading the dog to death. The treatment is practically inefficient and the only prevention is the annual vaccination of dogs.

Canine parvovirus:

Canine Parvovirus is a disease caused by parvovirus (CPV), very common mainly in puppies and unvaccinated dogs. The main symptoms are gastro intestinal, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lack of appetite (anorexia), fever. It usually requires hospitalization and intensive care for 4 to 6 days. Mortality is high in puppies, especially in puppies with concomitant worms or other intestinal infections such as giardiasis. The only prevention is vaccination.

Canine coronavirus:

Canine coronavirus is a relatively new disease in Brazil, caused by a canine coronavirus (CVC) that affects the digestive system of puppies and adults. Clinical signs may be imperceptible or a brief episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Coronavirus disease has a more benign evolution than canine parvovirus, and it is rarely necessary to hospitalize the dog with intensive care. Vaccination of dogs is the only effective prevention against coronavirus.

Canine distemper:

Canine distemper is a very old disease, caused by a paramyxovirus related to the human measles virus. It has higher mortality in puppies and in unvaccinated animals. The disease has three phases, a respiratory phase with signs of runny nose, coughs, increased respiratory rate; the second phase is intestinal with vomiting and diarrhea without a marked feature; and the third neurological phase is the most dramatic, causing mobility difficulties with the hind limbs and convulsions. Animals that survive the third, and more serious, phase may have to take medications for life to control seizures. The only prevention is vaccination of puppies and annual reinforcement.

Canine influenza:

Canine influenza is caused by an Influenzavirus A virus that causes infection in the upper airways. Similar to what occurs in horses and humans. It is a disease with high morbidity (high dissemination) and low mortality. Most dogs do not have natural immunity against the disease, making vaccination extremely important for the prevention of canine influenza. The symptoms are sneezing, runny nose and rarely develop into a pulmonary infection (pneumonia). Supportive and secondary medical infection treatment has high success rates. Vaccination is the only form of prevention against canine influenza.

Dr marcio waldman veterinarian