Symptoms of Canine Coronavirus Infection


Symptoms of canine coronavirus infection range from no symptoms to the severe. They usually start to appear 2 to 5 days after exposure.

The virus lives in the intestinal lining of your pet. Diarrhea is usualy the only symptom. Unlike diarrhea due to swallowing outdoor objects which has mucus, the consistency of the diarrhea from coronavirus is usually yellow/oragne, watery, and smells terrible. It is possible that the diarrhea contains blood, although this is unusual and is more closely associated with the more sever parvovirus.

Other symptoms of canine coronavirus infection include loss of appetite, depression, nausea, and vomiting.

Treatment of Coronavirus

The most common treatment is to replace the fluids your dog has lost due to diaarhea or the less common vomitting. Since this is a virus anti-biotics are not effective, but can be use to prevent other infectios while your dog's immune system is stressed.

With the loss of fluids the Veterinarian may need to rehydrate your dog with fluids given via intravenous (IV) or an injection under the skin.

Once home, try and give your dog small amounts of water and very bland food. A worsening of symptoms should trigger a trip to the Veternarian.

Try and encourage rest and if you have other dogs in the home, get them tested to see if they are carrying the disease with no symptoms.

Prevention of Coronavirus

A vaccination is available which involves two injections with a two-week gap between each. The only way to prevent coronavirus is to isolate your dog from sick animals or places where there may be feces such as a dirty kennel.

The current NCSU guideline considers coronavirus to be a non-core virus and therefore is only given after a risk assessment.

If you have more than one dog, be sure to clean eating areas and bowls everyday. The virus is "shed" in your dog's feces months after symptoms are no longer present.

Dogs that have had the disease do develop some limited immunity.

Clorox mixed in the ratio 4 ounces to one gallon of water will kill the virus on infected surfaces. You can also use a chemical disinfectant.