Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Canine Herpes Virus

Font Size
A
A
A

ASPCA logoCanine herpes virus (CHV), also known as “fading puppy syndrome,” is a viral infection that infects the reproductive organs of adult dogs. While adult dogs infected with CHV usually do not show any symptoms, the infection is the leading cause of death in newborn puppies. One puppy in a litter may be affected, and death may occur abruptly, with little or no warning, or an entire litter may perish within a 24-hour period. If the disease is contracted when the puppies are older than three weeks, it is often less severe. Older puppies have a much better chance of survival, but may have long-term effects of a persistent CHV infection. 

How Is Canine Herpes Transmitted?

Canine herpes virus lives in the reproductive and respiratory tracts of male and female dogs. In adults, the disease is transmitted via aerosol and direct contact, including sneezing, coughing, nosing, sniffing, licking and sexual activities between an infected and an uninfected dog. Puppies usually contract the disease in the birth canal or from nasal and oral secretions of the mother shortly after birth. Puppies can also spread the virus to one another.  Just because one puppy in a litter is infected with CHV does not mean they all are.

 

What Are the Symptoms of Canine Herpes in Adult Dogs?

  • Often there aren’t any symptoms
  • Occasionally raised genital sores may be seen
  • Abortion
  • Stillbirth
  • Kennel cough

What Are the Symptoms of Canine Herpes 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
  • Chilled, cold puppies
  • Respiratory difficulty, nasal discharge
  • Hemorrhages, such as nose bleeds and small bruises
  • Older puppies may develop nervous system abnormalities, including blindness and seizures

Can I Catch Herpes from My Dog?

No. Humans are not at risk for catching canine herpes.

How Is Canine Herpes Diagnosed?

If a puppy is stillborn or dies soon after birth, a necropsy should be performed to determine the cause of death. There are many potential causes for puppy death, and you will want to evaluate whether the rest of the litter is at risk and what care is needed. Please call your veterinarian for instructions on how to arrange this. 

Adult dogs are generally tested for CHV if they are intended for breeding or if their history suggests a problem with CHV. A veterinarian may check bloodwork  to attempt to confirm recent exposure to the virus.

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow