There is a reported rise in the number of dogs coming down with vomiting and diarrhea in the cities in northern England as described by the University of Liverpool as prolific vomiting and diarrhea. Over 150 dogs have been presented to the veterinary clinics for treatment within a span of two weeks with the same clinical presentation. The culprit is thought to be canine enteric coronavirus(CECov). This is article will help you understand Canine Enteric Coronavirus outbreaks and suggest ways you can keep your dog safe and healthy.
WHAT IS CANINE ENTERIC CORONAVIRUS (CECov)?
CECov is an RNA virus belonging to the coronavirus family. CECov is a member of the alphacoronavirus and is different from the human coronavirus (Covid-19).In veterinary practice, coronaviruses are diagnosed quite often all over the world and either treated or managed successfully. This is most likely because the coronavirus is fragile and inactivated by most disinfectants including soap.
Epidemiologically, the number of CECov cases goes up during winter, most likely because the virus survives a little longer in the cold environment as compared to the summer(warmer) environment. Also, very low temperatures may increase the stress factors in the dogs thereby increasing the chances of the dogs coming down with CECov infection.
WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN A DOG HAS CECov?
Most dogs with Canine Enteric Coronavirus will not show any signs of the disease at all in the subclinical presentation but the mild to severe forms of Canine Enteric Coronavirus present with vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, depressed attitude.
Very severe forms of the disease(CECov) mimics parvoviral enteritis and presents with bloody(hemorrhagic) diarrhea, sporadic vomiting, severe dehydration, weakness, and death in some situation.
HOW DO DOGS GET CECov?
Canine enteric coronavirus spreads mainly by the oro-fecal route, what this means is that your dog can only get this virus by ingesting the virus in the feces of an infected dog. This may be through one of the following:
- licking other dogs whose fur has been contaminated by the feces of an infected dog
- licking their own paws if they stepped in the poo of another dog who had the infection
- cleaning themselves through licking if their own fur was contaminated with the virus.
- licking, biting, or chewing on the footwear of owners, caregivers, kids, or any member of the family who accidentally stepped in the poo of an infected dog.
- Drinking water contaminated with the feces of an infected dog
- eating feed contaminated with the feces of an infected dog
In all these situations, a minimum amount of the virus must be ingested or be present to cause the infection. Dogs with relatively strong immune systems may not come down with the infection.
WHICH ANIMALS CAN ALSO GET CECov?
Aside from dogs, cats may come down with canine enteric coronavirus. In rare situations, canine enteric coronavirus has been reported in animals within the canine or dog family.
HOW DO WE TREAT CECov?
There is no specific treatment for CECov. Treatment is mainly symptomatic depending on the presentation of the disease in your dog. Your Veterinarian will treat your dog according to his or her findings after the physical examination and laboratory analysis.
10 WAYS TO PROTECT AND KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE FROM CANINE ENTERIC CORONAVIRUS CECov?
- Get a plan to keep your dogs warm as much as possible during winter
- Limit the interactions between your dogs and other dogs as much as possible
- Keep a good hygiene
- Ensure your dog does not defecate in public places to keep other dogs safe especially if your dog is infected, if they do, however, make sure to clean up as soon as possible.
- give your dog a warm bath with shampoo after your dog interacts with other dogs
- Ensure your dog is in good health before winter sets in.
- Report to your local veterinarian the moment you suspect your dog is not well.
- For routine checkups and minor appointments use telemedicine or telehealth and veterinary home services.
- Clean your footwear with soap or other disinfectants before playing with your dog if you step in dog poo accidentally
- if you are unsure of the source of feed for your dog, heat the feed before feeding them to your dogs. (use only where applicable)
The outbreak of canine enteric coronavirus is thought to be seasonal with the highest occurrence during winter. I believe the recommendations in this article will help you keep your dog safe from the canine enteric coronavirus outbreak
- UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL SMALL ANIMAL VETERINARY SURVEILLANCE NETWORK( SAVSNET)