Viral Disease - Canine Herpesvirus


Acute viral disease of dogs caused by Adenovirus characterized by High rise of temperature, vomition, diarrhea and convulsion



Species affected

Dogs, foxes, wolves, skunks and bears


CHV requires close contact for transmission.

It spreads trans placentally at birth or through direct dog-to-dog contact (e.g., during breeding).

It is unstable in the environment, so it is rarely transmitted through fomites.

Clinical Signs

Consequences of rare, trans placental infection include abortions, stillbirths, weak puppies, and puppies that succumb to neonatal infection.

Neonatal infection occurs via exposure to the dam's vaginal secretions at birth or to infected littermates, and is most common during the first 3 weeks of life

Signs in puppies 3 to 5 weeks old may be less severe and include neurological signs, such as trigeminal neuropathy, ataxia, and blindness.

Adults are usually asymptomatic.

  • » Females that appear healthy may experience infertility, abortion, or stillbirths.
  • » Genital lesions include papulo vesicular lesions that regress and reappear in both males and females.
  • » CHV may play a minor role in canine respiratory infections.
  • » Latent infections recrudesce in some immunosuppressed Dogs.


Clinical pathologic evaluation

  • » Limited usefulness in neonates because of sampling difficulty and lack of specificity
  • » Puppies: thrombocytopenia, evidence of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy and increased liver enzyme activity (particularly alanine aminotransferase)

CHV-specific testing

  • » Virus isolation from tissues of affected puppies is diagnostic.
  • » Serological testing indicates exposure, but does not diagnose active infection in adults.
  • » Multifocal hemorrhages and necrosis with inclusion bodies in epithelial tissues, or CHV identified in tissue via FA, EM, or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays are also conclusive.

Differential Diagnosis

Neonatal death

  • » Bacterial septicemia with Salmonella spp., Streptococcus spp.
  • » Other viral infections: CPV-1, CPV-2, CDV
  • » Protozoal diseases

Abortion and stillbirths: brucellosis, leptospirosis, bacterial metritis, CDV, protozoal diseases, endocrinopathies


Supportive therapy is typically unsuccessful.

Provide parenteral fl uids with oral or IV dextrose, nutritional support, nursing care, animal warming, and broadspectrum antibiotics.

Hyper immune serum from recovered dogs may protect other puppies (<5 weeks of age) in an affected litter; administer 1 to 2 mL intraperitoneally

Rapid progression of neonatal disease makes the role of antiviral therapy questionable.

Infected adult dogs remain latently infected because there is no way to clear all viruses from the body.

Monitoring and Prevention

Puppies that are kept warm (37° to 38° C [99° to 100° F]) have lower morbidity and mortality.

Although bitches that have recovered from infection usually raise subsequent litters without problems, it is recommended they not be bred again.

Isolate young puppies from dogs that might shed viral particles.

A preventative vaccine is available only in Europe.

CHV is easily inactivated by most disinfectants.

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