is the herpes virus found?
- Herpes virus is
present worldwide in domestic and wild dogs.
- Canine herpes virus has
been found to only infect dogs.
- Infection can be a
result of direct contact with infectious bodily fluids.
- The virus can be
intermittently shed in nasal secretions and rarely in genital
- Canine herpes virus is
not stable in the environment.
can my puppy get infected?
- Puppies may become infected while still in
utero. This will
only occur when the mother is infected for the first time during
pregnancy. Subsequent pregnanices should not be affected as the mother
will have produced enough protective antibodies
against the virus.
- Infection in utero
death of fetuses, or
death of neonates shortly after birth.
- Mothers infected mid-gestation will be asymptomatic, but
may abort weak or stillborn puppies.
- Puppies can also become infected during the birthing
process as they pass through the birth canal.
- Puppies become infected from contact with oronasal
secretions from the mother or other dogs in the kennel.
- Infected littermates or neighbouring dogs can also serve as
sources of infection.
- Canine herpes virus is generally fatal in neonatal pups
that lack immunity derived from their mothers.
- Asymptomatic individuals may shed the herpes virus for
months or years.
- Shedding of the virus can be provoked by stress and/or
period for the virus is between 6 to 10 days.
- Affected puppies are 1 to 3 weeks old at time of onset of
- Puppies infected at <1 week of age show a litter
mortality of 100%. This occurs over a period of a few days to a week.
- If puppies are 2 to 3 weeks old at time of exposure, the
infection is rarely fatal.
are the clinical signs?
- Dogs infected older than 1 to 2 weeks of age are generally
- Neonates that become infected are generally sick for 1 to 3
- Typical clinical signs include:
- Possible clinical signs may include:
- serous or bloody nasal discharge
(small bruises) are common on mucus membranes
- Body temperature is not usually elevated.
discharge in a dog.
there a treatment available?
- Antiviral treatments are usually unsuccessful and costly.
- If given before onset of symptoms, however, the drug
Vidarabin has some success in treating puppies.
- If puppies survive after treatment with Vidarabin, they are
not protected from central nervous system or heart damage.
- Puppies can be protected during kennel outbreaks by
injecting 1 to 2 ml of immune sera
from infected mothers prior to
can I prevent infection?
- Luckily, the herpes virus does not survive in the
environment as it has a relatively easily destroyed envelope that can
be readily killed by common disinfectants.
- Currently a vaccine is available in Europe.
- This vaccine's ability to reduce neonatal mortality,
however, is not
- It is safe practice to isolate a pregnant female 3 weeks
and 3 weeks after birth of the puppies.