Introduction: Canine herpes virus is a fatal, viral infection of puppies worldwide.
About 50% of adult dogs (also wolves and coyotes) have natural immunity gained from exposure to this virus. Most older puppies and adults that come in contact with the virus for the first time have only minor symptoms (but might be carriers of the disease).
But this disease is often fatal to very young puppies under 4 weeks of age and is also associated with abortions, stillbirths, and infertility.
This particular strain of herpes (CHV) in NOT a danger to humans, cats, or any other non canine species as far as we know.
Transmission usually occurs by contact between susceptible puppies and the infected oral, nasal, or vaginal secretions of their dam or oral or nasal secretions of dogs allowed to commingle with puppies during the first 3 weeks of life. And infection is also possible while the puppies are still in the womb.(in utero transmission)
Herpes virus' love to replicate in moist mucus membranes of the body as well as the liver. lungs, and kidneys may occur.
Typically, onset of symptoms are sudden, and death occurs after an illness of less than one day. Owners might notice a snotty nose and a lose of energy. Usually they just find dead puppies.
Diagnosis: Other virus' that sometimes kill young puppies are infectious canine hepatitis (ICH) and canine distemper virus, but we can usually tell the difference on necropsy (autopsy).
Cardiology Heart disease in Cats, Cardiac Hypertrophy, Valvular disease, Cardiac Insufficiency, Congestive Heart Failure, Heartworm Disease, and a little history about the milestones in treating heart disease
Cats: general information page and directory of diseases and problems specific to cats including vaccine recommendations, leukemia, feline viral infections, feline upper respiratory disease and cats that just aren't feeling well.
But luckily most puppies obtain natural immunity from the colostrum in momma's milk (maternal antibodies)
Treatment: Deaths may be reduced when infected puppies are reared in incubators at increased temperatures and given adequate fluids and supportive therapy.
The prognosis of puppies that survive neonatal infections of herpes virus is guarded because damage to lymphoid organs, brain, kidneys, and liver may be irreparable.
With herpes virus infection we usually see telltale spots of hemorrhage on the kidneys whereas with canine hepatitis virus the hemorrhages are more pronounced on the liver and the gall bladder is usually swollen as well. Distemper virus can look like herpes virus on necropsy but distemper doesn't kill puppies so quickly.