Canine Adenovirus is usually one of those diseases that is easily forgotten about, and that’s probably because it’s not talked about, or mentioned very often.  Heck, you may have never even heard about it!  But that’s all about to change because I’m about to tell you everything you’d ever need to know about Adenovirus in dogs.

There are two types of Canine Adenovirus, one which causes Infectious Canine Hepatitis, or ICH (type-1), while the other develops in the form of a cough much like Bordetella and kennel cough.  Type-1 is very uncommon these days, so the focus of this post will be primarily of only type-2 Adenovirus.

With that said, let’s begin!

What is Canine Adenovirus?

Canine Adenovirus type-2 (CAV-2) is often the cause of respiratory disease in dogs, and usually shows up in the form of a cough, which, if left untreated, can turn into a fatal pneumonia.  It is one of the major causes for tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough.

Is my dog at risk of infection?

If your dog, or young puppy has come in contact with an infected dog, and is lacking the protection against the disease, there is a high risk that your dog could become sick.  Even with vaccination against  CAV-2, there is still a chance your canine could become ill since there is no guarantee with an immunization, only prevention, as with all vaccines.  However, being protected against the disease will greatly minimize these chances and the severity of developing secondary infections will be lessened.

What will happen if my dog gets Canine Adenovirus Type-2?

Dogs that are infected will often show signs of a dry, hacking cough followed by retching, and coughing up a white foamy discharge.  The cough is caused by inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.  Some dogs may also develop a fever, have discharge coming from the eyes, and/or nose, be depressed, lack the desire to eat/drink, have some difficulty breathing, and exhibit muscle tremors.  If left untreated, the disease can, and could progress to pneumonia, which can be fatal.  You may start to observe signs of infection in your dog as soon as a week after coming in contact with Adenovirus.

What should I do if my dog has become infected?

If you think your dog may have come in contact with an infected dog, has not been vaccinated, and is exhibiting symptoms like those listed above, make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible for a proper examination, possible testing if symptoms are severe or persistant, and treatment if necessary.

What should I expect if my dog needs treatment?

Depending on the severity of the infection, your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic, or a cough suppressant.  Also, sometimes regular neck collars can irritate an existing cough, so it’s recommended that a harness or head collar be worn instead to ease comfort.

What kinds of vaccinations are there?

There are two types of vaccinations against Canine Adenovirus Type-2, one that protects against type-1, and the other protects against both type-1 and type-2 forms of the virus.  Most often, the protection against Adenovirus is combined with several other vaccines and called a 5-way vaccine.  When you take your dog to the vet for his shots, the “Distemper” vaccine is usually the 5-way vaccine and includes:  Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus Type-2, Coronavirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.  Your dog is most likely already protected against Adenovirus Type-2 and you didn’t even know it.  Which is a good thing! :)

How often should my dog be vaccinated?

It is usually suggested that protection against Canine Adenovirus Type-2 be administered yearly at their check-up.  Preventing an infection through vaccines, and keeping your dog away from other dogs is the only way to lessen the chances of your dog coming in contact with the disease, and as always, consult your dog’s veterinarian for what is best for YOUR dog’s health.

How soon can I get my puppy protected against Canine Adenovirus?

The age of 6 weeks is the general time that your puppy can begin being protected against this virus, and all the other viruses that could, and can, affect your young puppy.  It is best to get them started on their vaccines as soon as they turn 6 weeks of age to maximize their chances of developing a healthy immune system, and to protect them against any and all diseases they may come in contact with in their environment.  Even you, the puppy parent, are capable of exposing your puppy to environmental diseases through articles of clothing that may be carrying the disease.  It’s better to begin their protection as soon as possible.

When should I get my dog vaccinated?

If you are unsure if your dog has been protected against Canine Adenovirus Type-2, contact your veterinarian to verify that they have.  If not, I’d recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as possible.  Since this vaccine is often combined with several other vaccines, as I mentioned above, it is entirely possible that your dog is already protected, but it never hurts to find out for sure.

If you feel your dog may have come in contact with Canine Adenovirus Type-2, and is showing signs of the disease, please don’t hesitate to contact your dog’s veterinarian for advice, or to schedule an appointment.  It is best to be sure that the condition isn’t serious, and to catch it before it becomes one.

Next up on the canine vaccine series, Canine Distemper!

Stay Tuned!

Previous Posts:  List of Canine Vaccinations, Canine Bordetella and Kennel Cough

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