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Archive for February 8th, 2012

Can Dogs get hepatitis?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver but its causes may differ.  Dogs do get hepatitis but the cause and effect may be different than human hepatitis. There is what is called Infectious Canine Hepatitis. This disease is caused by a virus, and may prove to be a fatal disease in some dogs.  Dogs usually will acquire hepatitis through contact with urine, eye secretions and nasal secretions of infected dogs.  This type of virus dogs not affect humans or other animals, it only affects dogs. The virus attacks the liver, eye, kidney and blood vessels at the time in enters the dog’s system.  Fortunately, not all of these infections are fatal. Here are the symptoms:

  • cough
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • low grade fever

In some cases, dogs won’t  any symptoms.  Some will develop blue eye. This is a bluish discoloration of the cornea of the eye.

Puppies become very ill from the disease and must be treated immediately. They will develop internal bleeding, liver disease, tonsillitis, and general inflammation of the eyes and mouth. If left untreated, the pup will quickly deteriorate to shock and death. Veterinarians can treat the disease by good supportive therapy, intravenous fluids, good diet, rest, medicines to lighten the liver’s workload, and good care all aimed to strengthen the dog’s ability to recuperate. They will also give antibiotics to treat secondary infections. There is a vaccine for this disease and the cases of canine hepatitis in the United States are low. Therefore, the best way to keep your dogs free from this disease is to keep him updated on his vaccinations and schedule periodic visits with your vet.

Remember, your pets count!