Can dogs get herpes simplex?

How Common is Canine Herpesvirus in Dogs

Can dog get herpes? What to give?

Yes, dog can get herpes. But it is not the kind of herpes the human gets. It is not HPV virus it is CHV that causes herpes in dog.

What is herpes and how it is transmitted to your pet?

If you are scare that your dog got the herpes from you, please relax as humans cannot transmit the herpes virus to the dogs. Dogs belong to canine species and the herpes they can get contracted with is Canine herpes virus (CHV), which is also called “fading puppy syndrome.” This viral infection infects the reproductive organs of adult dogs. And the great news is that the adult dogs usually do not show any symptoms of the disease. Therefore, if you have an old dog and you do not want to breed him/her, you do not have to worry a lot. That being said, does that mean you should not take any further precautions to check the spread of the disease? No. In case of CHV, precaution is the best treatment because in newborn puppies herpes (caused by CHV) is one of the leading causes of death. And as an animal lover and owner of the beautiful puppy you don’t want to see them going through this phase just because of a negligence. Your dog can be a carrier and transmit the virus to another puppy or dog which is being raised for breeding.

Is Canine herpes common?

Sadly but yes, it is true that the herpes is very common in canines (dog). As a rough estimate, about 70% of the dogs are infected with herpes, but majority of them do not show any signs of the disease. This is due to the fact that the herpes virus goes latent in the body after the initial period and the dog seems unaffected from the outside with mere visual inspection. This means that as the dog owner you have to be extra careful and have good observation for potential signs of the disease.

how did my dog get herpes

How herpes is transmitted?

The herpes virus gets infected by direct contact with another affected dog’s oral, nasal, or vaginal secretions. Since the herpes virus is unstable outside of the host, close contact is required for the transmission of the disease.

If the female dog is infected within last three months of pregnancy there are high chances of the puppies born to her will be infected too as the virus is transmitted during the delivering process. What does this means – it means that as the owner and care giver to the dog and new puppies you have to be more vigilant and practice good hygiene. Keep the surroundings neat and warm. Now you must be wondering what to look or observe for? Below is your answer:

What are the symptoms in Adult dog?

  • Often no symptoms
  • Occasionally visible raised genital sores
  • Abortion
  • Stillbirth
  • Kennel cough

What are the symptoms in Puppies?

  • Sudden death of newborn puppy
  • Weakness, lethargy
  • Persistent crying
  • Lack of suckle reflex/appetite
  • Painful abdomen
  • Bruising or bloating of the abdomen
  • Soft, yellow/green feces
  • Cold puppies
  • Difficulty breathing and or nasal discharge
  • nose bleeds and small bruises
  • Older puppies may develop nervous system abnormalities, including blindness and seizures

What is the treatment or preventive measure?

Often times it is said that prevention saves lot of troubles. It is very true in case of herpes especially when there is no available treatment or vaccination for the disease. It is important to keep the puppies in humid and warm area to lower the risk of transmission of herpes virus. This virus cannot thrive in warm conditions. First three months of puppies’ life is very crucial as this is time when if they come in contact with infected dog the virus can cause maximum damage to their life. As dog matures, the potential damage from the herpes virus reduces.

  • Talk to your Vet if you planning to breed your dog.
  • Have your dog tested for CHV via bloodwork
  • Talk to your Vet if there was any past sign of the disease

What to give?

Give the full care needed as dogs or puppies are like little children who need full attention, love, and care. Keep your vets appointment ready and have your dog tested for the possible infection before they are ready to breed.  Last but not least if you love your pet dog, keep practicing good hygiene, keep the litter in warm place and away from infected dogs.

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