Canine Coronavirus

"Canine coronavirus (CCoV) is a highly contagious disease in dogs that causes inflammation in a dogs intestinal tract (called enteritis). The disease is spread when a healthy dog's mouth comes in contact with an infected dog's feces. An infected dog can spread the virus for 6 to 9 days, although puppies have been shown to spread the disease for as long as 6 months, even when they no longer show any disease symptoms. The virus affects dogs of every age, with puppies being more susceptible to the infection. Clinical symptoms are seen 18 to 72 hours after being infected, with the most common symptoms being diarrhea, vomiting, feces that has a strong smell, and blood streaks/mucous in the feces. Puppies show additional canine cononavirus symptoms such as anorexia (loss of appetite), depression and dehydration. In cases of dehydration, fluid therapy is used. Most dogs recover completely from the virus, with recovery starting on the seventh day of the disease."

Canine Coronavirus is a highly contagious virus caused by dog feces that is ingested (licked, inhaled or eaten) by your dog. There are several ways for a dog to catch the virus including direct contact with another dog. This occurs when dogs are smelling each other, licking the ground, or touching infected feces.

An infected adult dog sheds the virus for several days after they originally catch the disease (even when no longer showing symptoms). Puppies can shed the virus for as long as 6 months after recovery. You tend to see outbreaks of the illness in places where dogs gather such as dog runs, dog shows, pet stores, or at a kennel. The infection is very difficult to control and eliminate, since even when using a disinfectant to clean a kennel, contact between dogs can still spread the disease. In terms of disinfectants, a 3% hypochlorite solution will kill the virus.

Any age dog can catch the illness, although dogs with a weakened immune system, younger dogs, or dogs that have not been vaccinated are most susceptible.

Coronavirus puppies survival is dependent on early diagnosis and treatment. The virus can be a very serious problem for puppies between the age of 6 and 16 weeks.

Duration of Coronavirus in Dogs

The virus usually lasts from 2 to 10 days.

What to expect at the Veterinarian’s Office

The Veterinarian has to determine if your dog has Coronavirus and the symptoms of canine coronavirus infection or the similar and more severe parvovirus, or a digestive problem.

Since Parvovirus is more problematic than cornoavirus, they will often test for parvo, test the blood, examine the stool, abdomen and often take x-rays.

If your pet has severe symptoms, the dog may need to stay at an Animal Hospital for a 24-hour period.  Fluids will be provided if a dog is dehydrated.

As part of your visit, your doctor will discuss coronavirus treatment and prevention.

Natural remedies can be used for additional support (not a cure) as a way of strengthening the immune system and digestive tract health. One product formulated specifically for the purpose is Vi-Pro Plus.

Prevention of Coronavirus in Dogs

Beyond avoiding exposure to an infected dog, there is a vaccine available for this virus.  However, the 2003 AAHA Vaccine Guidelines Task Force does not recommend the use of currently available CCoV vaccines. The vaccine doesn't provide complete protection against the disease.


Canine Coronavirus Infection
A. Pratelli
Dept of Animal Health and Well-being, Univeristy of Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy.


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