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Canine Parainfluenza Virus



Parainfluenza


Virus Characteristics


Effects on the Animal

Clinical Signs of Disease

Prognosis

Treatment and Prevention

Viruses of Dogs

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  Virus Characteristics

Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPiV) is a single-stranded RNA virus of the virus family Paramyxoviridae. Canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV) typically causes mild respiratory tract infections. It may act in conjunction with other microbial agents (Ex: canine adenovirus, bordatella bronchiseptica, canine herpesvirus, mycoplasmas), resulting in canine infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough). Kennel cough is an acute inflammation of the upper airways that can progress to fatal pneumonia in puppies, or to chronic bronchitis in older dogs. The disease is highly contagious and spreads quickly among dogs that are housed together (Example: kennels, veterinary clinics). The virus is transmitted via contact with the nasal secretions of infected dogs.


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An artist's rendering of the parainfluenza virus. 
content.nejm.org 



   
Effects on the Animal 

CPiV infection is restricted to the upper respiratory tract. Here, it is capable of causing damage to the epithelium lining the trachea (windpipe). This allows for secondary infection by other pathogens, which can complicate the infection and result in more serious disease, which can lead to tracheobronchitis, laryngitis and pneumonia. Stress and environmental extremes in ventilation, humidity and temperature can increase susceptibility to disease, and can also increase the severity of disease in an existing infection.

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Complications of CPiV infection can cause severe illness.
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Clinical Signs 

Dogs infected with CPiV often experience dry coughing and nasal discharge. Dogs may retch, and possibly produce mucous.

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CPiV infections often cause coughing.         
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Prognosis 

The prognosis for recovery from CPiV infection is good if the dog receives appropriate treatment upon onset of disease.



   
Treatment and Prevention 

Dogs should be immunized against CPiV via injection with a modified live virus vaccine. Young pups should receive their first vaccination with a modified live virus vaccine when they are 6 to 8 weeks old, with subsequent vaccinations every 3 to 4 weeks until they are 12 to 14 weeks old. Annual revaccination is recommended if high degrees of exposure are suspected, but revaccinations every three years is often sufficient (Vaccination Program for Dogs).