Canine viral hepatitis is an infectious disease caused by canine adenovirus -1 (CAV-1). It can involve the destruction of liver cells, resulting in death, with the mortality rate of 25% in puppies.
Early signs of viral hepatitis are fever, depression and lethargy, as well as a respiratory disease. Later signs include reluctance to move, abdominal tenderness, pale mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhoea and loss of appetite. Inflammation of the throat and lymph nodes of the neck are common. In severe cases, bleeding around teeth may occur. The liver becomes enlarged. Although central nervous system involvement is uncommon, dogs affected severely may convulse.
There is also a form of the disease in which the animals are found dead without clinical signs after an illness of only a few hours. Some of these cases are associated with midbrain bleeding.
Puppies can be vaccinated against canine viral hepatitis, and immunity should be lifelong. Sometimes vets will recommend vaccinating again after the age of six months, by which time the dog’s immune system will have matured. Once a dog is immune to this disease, they will remain immune for life. Annual vaccination with the adenovirus vaccine is absolutely not required, and has the potential to cause severe adverse effects.
If you choose not to vaccinate (to avoid adverse effects), your options include Transfer Factor, the homeopathic nosode, a raw natural diet, and other anti-viral nutrients such as garlic, grapefruitseed extract, and olive leaf extract.
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