Taken as one of the most serious and harmful viral diseases to dogs, coronavirus is highly contagious and affects the intestinal tract of animals affected by it. Also known as Contagious Gastrointeritis of Dogs, the disease has the virus called Corona as an agent, and can be transmitted to animals such as cats and cattle and even humans, being considered a zoonosis.
Although it was first identified in chickens, the Corona virus has dogs among its main victims today, and has earned this name for installing itself in the form of a crown in the cells that multiply it. Often confused with parvovirus, the coronavirus triggers a series of symptoms very similar to those of parvo, only mildly, including jet-shaped diarrhea, loss of appetite and fever, among others.
The most common form of coronavirus infection is through the contact of healthy dogs with the feces of infected animals, with the first signs of the disease already beginning to manifest in affected dogs about three days to seven after contagion. With varying levels of intensity, the symptoms of the disease can be very mild and, in some cases, improve after a few days even without specific treatment.
However, more serious cases can be fatal for dogs that are not promptly treated; therefore, when perceiving any atypical sign that resembles the symptoms of coronavirus in your pet, it is essential that it is analyzed by a veterinary professional, avoiding major complications. Below, learn a little more about the particularities of this disease, and learn how to act to prevent and treat it in your pet.
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Transmission of coronavirus
As previously mentioned, the main form of disease transmission is through direct contact of a healthy dog with the waste of an infected animal, and contact with any type of infected mucous or secretion also favors the spread.
Objects used by sick dogs are also infected with the corona virus, as well as the environment in which they live and dumps their feces. Therefore, items for the use of a dog contaminated by coronavirus they must be sterilized and cleaned with appropriate disinfectant products before any healthy animal has direct contact with them.
The main signs of the disease are very similar to the symptoms of parvovirus, and include fever, vomiting, apathy, dehydration, anemia, stomach cramps, loss of appetite and diarrhea - which occurs in the form of jets, is orange in color and has no strong odor . Affecting the intestinal tract of dogs, coronavirus disease rarely spreads to other organs of the animal, although tearing can also be part of the set of signs of the disease, in some cases.
Prevention, diagnosis and treatment
The only safe way to prevention of coronavirus it is through preventive vaccination. Fundamental to guarantee the dogs' health throughout their lives, the multipurpose vaccine should be administered to the puppy dog (from 45 days of life) and, in addition to coronavirus, it also immunizes dogs from other viral diseases such as parvovirus, distemper canine infectious hepatitis, adenovirus, leptospirosis and canine parainfluenza.
As it manifests itself with symptoms very similar to those of other complications, the diagnosis of the disease can only be defined through specific laboratory tests. It is important to remember that, even in cases where the dog does not show intense symptoms and improves with the passage of days, it is still contaminated and, therefore, must be treated so that it does not act as a disease spreader.
Without the existence of a drug that acts directly in the fight against the corona virus, the coronavirus it is treated mainly to relieve symptoms and complications caused in dogs, with a supportive treatment associated with systemic medications to provide a cure and prevent spread to other animals.
The administration of saline or glucose for fluid replacement is, in most cases, the first measure adopted for the animal to improve, since the symptoms of the disease can cause severe dehydration. Medicines that help contain nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are also frequently used in the treatment, as well as antibiotics and chemotherapy - which are recommended in cases where the animal highlights more serious and complicated intestinal problems due to the disease.