Jls gma asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

k-9 herpes what are the symptoms???

What are the symptoms and treatment for k-9 herpes


yes i have a 6 yr old shih tzu last summer she had a litter and the vet thought that the reason she lost a litter was that she had k-9 herpes and fadding puppy syndrome the 3 puppies were still born and 2 only lived 2 and 3 days she was so sad

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Canine herpes virus, an alpha-herpesvirus, is found throughout the world in domestic and wild dogs. We don’t think a lot about this virus because the disease it produces in mature dogs is very mild. Although it infects dogs of all ages, it is only a serious problem when it attacks newborn puppies. In urban dog populations the infection rate is about thirty percent. However, in some kennels, 100% of the dogs have been exposed to the virus.

    This virus is transmitted by direct contact with body secretions. Indirect infection is rare because the virus dies quickly in the environment.

    When mature dogs initially come in contact with herpes virus many develop a mild upper respiratory infection with nasal exudate and cough. In many dogs there are no signs at all that the dog is sick. Herpes virus also infects the genito-urinary system. The changes are mild and include vaginal redness, and pin point hemorrhages. Some dogs develop small vesicles (blisters) in the vagina or prepuce.

    In males the base of the penis may become inflamed. It is likely that all infected mature dogs harbor this virus in an inactive state in their nerve ganglia for the rest of their lives.

    Lipid-solvents as well as temperature over 104F inactivate canine herpesvirus. It is killed by most common household disinfectants.

    Most puppies are infected by their mothers shortly after birth. Some develop the infection while still in the womb or as they pass through the birth canal. When infection occurs while the puppies are still in the uterus, they may be stillborn, absorbed or abort before they reach term.

    When puppies are infected after birth, fatal infections occur between one and four weeks of age. The disease is usually fatal because these pups lack immunity. Mortality is close to 100%. Pregnant dogs infected in midterm or later pregnancy, often abort weak or stillborn pups. These mothers remain asymptomatic. Some fetal pups infected during late gestation can appear normal at birth, only to die a few days later. Many puppies become infected as they pass through the birth canal or shortly thereafter from infected oral and nasal secretions of the mother.

    The first sign of infection is a lack of interest in nursing. These puppies whine continuously and appear uncomfortable. They appear to be in pain due to tender abdomens. They may void yellowish green stools. Naso-occular discharge is common. Less common signs are an increased tendency to bleed and seizures. These puppies may have pin point hemorrhages on their gums. Young puppies are not capable of running a fever. As the disease progresses, the puppy’s temperature drops to subnormal. Subnormal temperature in puppies is a grave sign. The disease progresses very rapidly and the puppies usually die in 1-3 days. Because the signs are few and the disease rapid, owners may not recognize that their puppy is ill until it dies.

    Herpes virus is only fatal during the first week or two of life. When it occurs later, the disease is mild or no symptoms occur. We theorize that as soon as the puppy is old enough to run a fever, the increased temperature kills this thermolabile virus. Puppies less than two weeks of age also have undeveloped immune systems that favor the disease.

    Mother dogs pass their immunity to herpes virus infection on to their puppies. This is why the litter that follows an infected group of puppies does not develop the disease.

    There are only a few diseases that can be mistaken for herpes deaths in puppies. Toxic milk syndrome, septicemias, fatal congenital birth defects, minute virus of canines, canine adenovirus, coronavirus and accidents also cause acute death. In herpesvirus infection, the primary gross lesions in puppies are pin point hemorrhages in the kidneys and other body organs.

    Treatment of this disease is rather unsuccessful. Although elevated temperature kills this herpesvirus, treating the puppy with elevated temperature has not proved effective in saving the pups. Warmth, tube feeding and intravenous or subcutaneous fluids may extend the pup’s life but they usually expire quite rapidly. There are reported cases where puppies were saved by giving them blood serum from adult dogs that recently recovered from herpes virus. There is another report that the antiviral drug, vidarabine,

    has saved some puppies. When puppies survive herpesvirus infection they are usually left with nervous system and heart damage.

    In kennels, vigorous sanitation can stop the spread of herpesvirus throughout the facility. Vaccines for this disease are not available. When herpesvirus is found in a kennel all breeding should cease. This gives the rest of the adult kennel dogs time to develop immunity. In Europe, an inactivated sub-unit vaccine has been available since 2003. When three injections are given to mothers during their heat, early and late pregnancy, puppies survive even in infected kennels.

  • 5 years ago


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  • 5 years ago


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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

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  • 5 years ago

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  • TKS
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    In adults it can be any thing from a cough to runny eyes and its not much of a problem for them after that unless they break with it during stress. In puppies exposed to herpes at birth the puppies usually die by 2 weeks of age. They quit nursing, may act like they have tummy aches, and their lungs fill. England and Canada have a vaccine available.

    Treatment - adults may be given antibiotics since you rarely know it's herpes you're treating. puppies can be kept above 100 degrees.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am assumming you have a B itch?????

    Canine herpes is more of a reproductive problem than a respiratory one; in fact, most infected dogs do not appear to get sick at all. Instead the infections manifests in the pregnancy as resorption of the litter of puppies, abortion, still birth, or death of puppies within a few weeks of life. Transmission occurs direct contact (sexual contact will do it but the usual route is simply normal nosing, licking, and sniffing) between the infected and uninfected dog. For this reason, it is recommended that a pregnant female dog be isolated from other dogs for the last three weeks of pregnancy and the first three weeks after birth. Let’s say that again:

    Any pregnant female dog should be isolated from other dogs

    for the last three weeks of pregnancy and the first three weeks after birth.

    Puppies can be exposed before, during, or after birth. Just because one member of the litter is infected, this does not mean they all are. The incubation period is 3-7 days following infection. Once symptoms begin (shallow breathing, loss of appetite, vomiting) death follows within 48 hours. Infected puppies uniformly have low platelet counts and may show red spots called “petechiae” which actually represent small bruises.


    The necropsy (autopsy) is the only realistic means to finding out what happened. If you want to find out if the other litter members are at risk or if the mother dog can safely be bred again, the dead puppy should be examined.

    Place the remains in a zip-loc plastic bag and refrigerate until you can notify your veterinarian. If the placenta is available, it should be included.

    Expect the mother dog and remaining litter mates to be examined and the dead puppy to be necropsied.

    There are many causes for the loss of a near term or newly born litter of puppies: coronavirus, parvovirus, toxoplasmosis, brucellosis, umbilical trauma, genetic disease, etc. Knowing what to do heavily depends on knowing what happened. Puppies that die from canine herpes have characteristic “inclusion bodies” in many tissues under the microscope. Inclusion bodies are essentially areas of heavy virus reproduction that are actually visible and unique in appearance. The presence of herpes inclusion bodies confirms the diagnosis.


    The ability of an infected dog to maintain antibodies against canine herpes is variable. Some infected dogs show no antibodies after a couple of months and others have antibody levels persisting for years. If the history is suggestive or herpes then any herpes antibodies found in the bloodstream would be considered significant. Without the history of puppy loss, the presence of antibodies simply indicates past exposure to the virus. To get a better sense of how acute an exposure might be and whether or not the antibody level indicates active infection, a second antibody level can be drawn 10-14 days later. An active infection will show a fourfold rise in antibody level. In a breeding kennel situation, it maybe useful to know which dogs have been exposed and which ones haven’t so that the risks can be assessed. It is only the unexposed females that are at risk for infection during pregnancy and losing the litter. Checking pre-breeding titers is not a bad idea for both the male and female dog.

    If the infection is less than 3 weeks old, it may be possible to actually culture the virus from swab from the nose or vagina. In general, confirming herpes infection in a dead puppy is much easier and faster than trying to confirm the infection in the adult dog.


    Canine herpes is very bad news for puppies under age 3 weeks of age. Often there is nothing that can be done to stop the sweep of this lethal virus. This does not keep us from fighting, however. Serum from a recovered female dog can be separated and injected into the puppies as a source of anti-herpes antibodies. Warming the puppies may help as the virus cannot survive at body temperature. Antiviral medications such as Acyclovir may help.


    Fortunately, herpesviruses do not live in the environment (it dies at 68º F and is readily killed by common disinfectants); direct contact with an infected host or fresh secretions is needed. Still, once a dog is infected, it will be infected for life. Shedding virus is increased by stress. One more time: all mother dogs should be isolated from the final 3 weeks of pregnancy through the first 3 weeks after birth. In Europe, a vaccine is available for use during canine pregnancy (one dose at the time of breeding and a second 6-7 weeks later, to be repeated with each pregnancy).

    Herpes is only a danger to the puppies when the mother is infected during pregnancy. Once the mother has been infected, subsequent pregnancies should be unaffected as she will have made enough antibodies to keep the virus in check.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Wow, you really need to stop Googling yourself into a tizzy and talk to someone about your anxiety issues. You have no symptoms that suggest herpes or HIV, and doctors do *not* lie about herpes. Seriously, get a grip.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Crying, shallow breathing, loss of appetite, a soft yellowish green stool. See www.canineherpes.com.

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