Health Care

Please note that these articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of As with all matters relating to your dog, please use your own judgement where appropriate.

Dog Infectious Hepatitis

Infectious hepatitis is a condition that is very contagious. The eyes, kidneys, spleen, liver, and lungs can all be affected by the virus that causes this disease. Dogs that are less than a year old typically have the misfortune of developing this disease although it can affect canines of any age. Domesticated dogs are typically vaccinated against the disease, so they usually don't have to worry about. Therefore, most cases occur in wild dogs.

You should know that the adenovirus type 1 is repsonsible for causing hepatitis. Animals can easily become infected with the virus if they come into contact with feces, urine, or saliva from infected animals. Shedding of the virus can occur over a period of months.

One of the main signs of this condition is the development of a fever. In many cases, the nose and eyes will also produce a discharge. Among two of the other common signs are abdominal pain and vomiting. Dogs may also have a problem when it comes to proper blood clotting. Spontaneous hematomas can also occur in the mouth which will cause dogs to bleed around their teeth.

Dogs with this disease will start drinking more water, and later urinating much more often. The stool may also be lighter than normal. Another common problem is the development of swollen lymph nodes. Appetite loss, seizures, and jaundice are other common signs.

A thorough physical exam and complete medical history will be done if your dog shows any of these symptoms. Antibodies to the virus or the virus itself will also be detected in a blood sample. There will also be a decrease in the number of white blood cells and signs of liver disease. Vets may also do an x-ray or urinalysis for your dog.

Supportive care is provided to dogs infected by this virus since it can't be cured. To keep dehydration at bay, dogs may be given fluids intraveneously. Antibiotics will also be useful in preventing secondary bacterial infections. Some dogs who are severely ill will lose a lot of blood, so they may need a blood transfusion. Many dogs will become sensitive to light or develop eye pain, so they may be given medications to help with that.

Responsible owners will have their dog vaccinated in order to protect against the disease. The virus that causes it is very, very hearty. It doesn't need a host in order to survive in the environment for a few months. You can use standard household bleach to kill the virus, but other types of detergents would be effective against it.

If you want to be a good dog owner, then you should do your best to learn about various diseases and conditions that can affect your dog like dog bladder stones. Learning this information will help you recognize signs of disease quickly. Right now, you should head over to common-dog-diseases so you can start learning about some illnesses in dogs.

Submitted by Darrin Swain December 2011.