Canine Herpes Virus

(Last Updated On: 31/01/2017)

The Canine Herpes Virus

Canine Herpes Virus is a virus commonly found in puppies and at some points it can prove to be very fatal to them. This viral infection is also known as fading puppy syndrome and it attacks the reproductive organs of a pregnant or a female bitch. However most of the adult bitches/dam does not show any signs or symptoms of having Canine Herpes Virus but new born puppies die very easily with this virus. According to a study, one pup from every litter may die with Herpes virus and it may show no sign at all indicating if something is wrong or not. If the disease is found in pups older than 3 to 4 weeks then the virus is less severe and may be treated properly under vet’s attention and proper medications.

Canine Herpes Virus cannot only be found in adult female dogs but in male dogs too. This virus lives and breeds in respiratory tracts or reproductive organs of the dogs and it may easily get transmitted during sexual activities within the dam and sire, through sneezing, coughing, licking each other, playing with each other, licking each other and may even spread through the air if you have more than one dog at your home. A pup may catch the herpes virus through the mother’s womb, birth canal or even by having mother’s milk. One pup from the litter may be born with Herpes virus but that doesn’t mean all the pups are born with it, however it may spread from one pup to another.

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The diagnosis and treatment of Canine Herpes Virus

When it comes to diagnosing Canine Herpes Virus in adult dogs then the symptoms showed by cannot be shown by them. However the most common symptom which one can see it that you may find your dogs coughing, in matter of females may you may find raised and sore genitals, abortion during pregnancy and stillbirth of pups. As compared to adult dogs, puppies show more clear symptoms of Herpes virus in them. The puppy may die after moments of birth or maybe even after a few days. The pup will be weak, will cry continually and may not suckle on mother’s milk and will have an appetite which won’t be fulfilled. The pup may have pain in the abdomen and it will have yellow greenish colored feces. You may also see a fluid being discharged from nasal passages and your pup will be having problem in breathing, in cases blood may be seen too. In case your new born pup is showing all these symptoms then vet’s attention is required and the best thing to at this point is to put the pup to sleep, it will make him free from all the bad pain, it’s a hard thing to do but is the best solution.

Older pups may also develop Canine Herpes Virus and they may survive, however they may have a nervous system abnormality which may include blindness, deafness in the future along with seizures.  In order to diagnose the herpes virus in your pups and dogs, then vet’s attention is required. If you have found a dead pup or a stillborn in your dog’s litter then take the dead pup to the vet immediately so that the vet can determine the cause of death. This may help in diagnosing the virus and will save other puppies from the litter as well. Before you allow your male and female dog to mate or breed, it is important to get them both tested for CHV. If tested positive then some medicines will be given which may help in the killing of the virus, however CHV vaccines are recommended before mating.

Treating Herpes virus in newborn pups is rather difficult as the pup may die within 24 hours. However if your pup survives that period then medications might be required which includes antibiotics and the pup may need proper attention and special needs which means that it should remain warm in order to survive and may require 24/7 attention. In order to prevent Canine Herpes Virus vaccinations is required and tests are required before letting your dog mate. When your female is pregnant then keeping her away from adult dogs, especially those in the neighborhood and keep her isolated during the time of birth and after birth.


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