Canine Diseases... What are they?


Parvo viruses are extremely resistant to inactivation and can persist in the environment for years. They are also resistant to most commonly used disinfectants. The virus is spread in the feces which contaminates the environment. It can be transported on the hair or feet of infected dogs as well as on the hands and shoes of people. Dogs become infected by ingesting the virus which then attacks the intestinal tract, white blood cells, and in very young dogs, heart muscle. Common symptoms include severe diarrhea (bloody), vomiting, listlessness, depression, loss of appetite, and high fever. Some infected pups get very sick, very quickly, with the only symptoms seen being severe depression, gasping for breath and sudden death. Left untreated, many pups will die within 48 to 72 hours after onset of symptoms. This disease is highly contagious and once established in a kennel it can be very difficult to eliminate. Treatment for Parvovirus includes correcting dehidration and electrolyte imbalances (see Rebound) along with hospitalization. Treating the environment with a 10% or greater chlorine bleach solution is effective but harsh. Other opations include SynPhenol 3, Oxine, or Roccal-D Plus. Vaccination is the best preventative. Vaccinate pups at 8-12-16 weeks and annually thereafter (see Progard, Duramune, Neopar)


Corona virus is a much less severe gastro-intestinal disease then parvovirus and it causes disease primarily in puppies. Some puppies can get both corona and parvo at the same time, and in these pups, the disease is very severe. The primary symptoms include fever, depression, vomiting and diarrhea. Puppies infected with corona virus alone, will tend to recover within several days. Some dogs will continue to carry corona virus without showing any symptoms, and these dogs will be a source of infection to other dogs within the kennel. Treatment includes management of fluid and electrolyte balance (see Rebound). Vaccines are the best prevention method. See Duramune Max 5-CvK and Galaxy DA2PPv+Cv.


Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria which is shed in the urine of infected animals. Transmission occurs through direct contact with the skin or oral mucous membranes. Leptospirosis infects many different species of animals including people. The disease can vary a lot in severity but common symptoms include high fever, depression, jaundice, bleeding, vomiting, and lower back pain. It can lead to serious kidney disease with decreased urine volume, collapse and death. There are several different serovars of Leptospirosis which can infect dogs some are spread by rodents, others by wildlife and livestock. Treatment consists of antibiotics, fluid replacement and controlling the vomiting (see Rebound). An untreated animal that recovers can become a carrier and shed the disease for up to a year. There are four strains of Leptospirosis. The available vaccines (Galaxy and Duramune) will protect against the more common strains. Revival Animal Health does NOT recommend vaccinating young puppies for lepto.

Bordetellosis-Kennel Cough

Bordetella bronchiseptica is the most common bacteria isolated from dogs with respiratory disease. It is also a major component of a disease commonly called Kennel Cough. Viruses such as adenovirus type 2 and parainfluenza may also play a part in this disease. Bordetella causes a respiratory infection that is spread by breathing in respiratory secretions from coughing, infected dogs. The most common symptom is a dry, hacking, nonproductive cough which can be followed by gagging or retching. The cough usually lasts 1 to 3 weeks but it can take months for infected dogs to completely eliminate the bacteria from their lungs. Infected dogs need to be immediately isolated from other dogs. Depending on the severity of their disease they may need to be treated with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Thoroughly disinfect their cages, food and water bowls and anything else they have been in contact with. Common disinfectants such as Roccal D-PlusOxine and Chlorhexiderm are usually effective in killing these organisms. Always make sure that kennels are properly ventilated to reduce the risk of transmission. Nebulization therapy (vaporizer) may also be of great help in treating these dogs. This requires a vaporizer which may or may not be used with medication. Your Revival Animal Health sales representative can help you choose what equipment is right for your kennel. Vaccination is of critical importance in keeping your dogs and kennel free of this disease. There are two types of vaccines that are available, those that are injected and those that are given intranasally (up the nose). Injectable vaccines can be easier to administer but intranasal vaccines act faster and produce an immunity at the level of the lining of the respiratory tract. Antibodies are produced that prevent these organisms from gaining entry into the body. Ask your Revival representative about which vaccine is best for your dog.

Hepatitis-Adenovirus Type I

Infectious Canine Hepatitis is caused by Type 1 adenovirus, which is fairly resistant to inactivation. The virus that attacks the tonsils, lymph nodes and then the liver. It is shed in all body secretions, but more commonly by urine. Transmission is by contact with contaminated objects. This virus does not cause human hepatitis. The most common symptoms are fever, depression, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. In a small number of infected dogs, the virus can localize in the eye, causing a whiteness or cloudiness of the eye. Vaccines are available which can effectively prevent this disease. Most of the vaccines, however, contain adenovirus type 2, which still protects against type 1 infections, but eliminating possible side effects of cloudy eyes which can be seen, rarely, with adenovirus type 1 vaccines.

Parainfluenza-Adenovirus Type II

This virus causes a mild respiratory tract infection. It is transmitted through contact with oral and nasal secretions. Common symptoms include fever, nasal discharge, and a dry hacking cough. The disease by itself, is usually mild and brief, however, in some cases it can progress into a more serious pneumonia. Vaccines are available to effectively prevent this disease. Two types of canine adenovirus type 2 vaccines are available, an injectible form and also as a nasal spray, as part of a "kennel cough" vaccine.


Canine distemper is caused by a virus, which does not live long outside of the dog. It is primarily transmitted by contact with respiratory secretions from an infected dog, but it can be found in all body secretions. The disease is highly contagious and commonly causes death. The disease is most common in puppies from 3 - 6 months of age. The initial symptoms resemble a mild cold and may even go unnoticed. Several days later, infected dogs will have discharge from their eyes and nose, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. Puppies, who survive through the initial disease, will commonly develop seizures 1 - 3 weeks later. In most dogs the seizures will get progressively worse, until the puppy succumbs to the disease. Puppies who survive may have incomplete development of their teeth, thickened footpads and may develop seizures later in life. Distemper should be treated by a veterinarian. The best prevention is vaccination (see Duramune Max 5 and Galaxy DA2PPv).

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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