Canine coronavirus is
a contagious intestinal infection that usually produces a mild disease.
However, it can be severe in young puppies and dogs
who are stressed by concurrent infections. The distribution is worldwide, and
dogs of all ages are affected.
Coronavirus is transmitted by contact with infected oral and fecal
secretions. Following infection, the virus is shed in the stool for many
months. Symptoms vary from none (the most common form) to outbreaks of acute diarrhea,
typically occurring in a community of dogs. Dehydration
can occur if the diarrhea is severe.
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The early signs of illness are depression with loss of appetite, followed by
and the passage of a foul-smelling, yellow to orange diarrhea that varies from
soft to watery. The diarrhea may contain blood. Unlike parvovirus, fever is
There is no readily available test to diagnose coronavirus during the acute
illness. A rise in antibody titer in serum tested at the time of illness and
two to six weeks later can provide a retrospective diagnosis.
Treatment: Treatment is supportive, and includes maintaining hydration and
controlling vomiting and diarrhea, as described for the treatment of
are not prescribed because of the mild nature of most infections.
Prevention: A vaccine is available to control coronavirus. However, because
coronavirus is rarely fatal and tends to respond well to treatment, vaccination
is not recommended.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"