Infectious canine hepatitis is due to an nonenveloped DNA virus called Canine Adenovirus type-1.
Infectious canine hepatitis is a disease that has spread on a worldwide level, yet many people are very unfamiliar as to what exactly it is. It is quite a contagious disease and it is almost certain that if one of your dogs has it, so will the rest.
The disease is not strictly spread to dogs, it has become extremely apparent in several different species all across the world. Such animals include, foxes, wolves, coyotes, and bears. It is also capable of spreading to other carnivore animals.
This canine adenovirus is capable of adapting quickly to its conditions. It can live out of a host for months on ends and has immunity to lipid solvents. It can be spread through a number of ways without much trouble.
The virus can be caught through saliva, blood, urine, feces, and nasal discharge, making it extremely hard to prevent if one of your dogs has been infected by it.
It is able to multiply itself in the tonsils, probably because it is a hard to reach area that contains millions of bacteria for it to feast on. It can lie in incubation anywhere between four to seven days.
It will then proceed to infect endothelial cells within many of the tissues. Important organs such as the liver, kidney, spleen, and even the lungs are a big target for the virus and the dog can begin to have advance stages of kidney lesions.
Since a major part of the cornea is made out of endothelial cells, it is no surprise if the dog will start to have extremely cloudy eyes. Cloudy eyes can greatly affect the dog's vision and he will not be able to properly see unless the cornea is cleared.
If the dog recovers from this infection, it will take roughly seven to ten days after all the dog symptoms disappear in order for the corneal to become normal.
Common symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, depression, coughing, and swollen abdomen, signs of liver disease, vomiting, and corneal edema. In extreme cases your dog could develop bleeding disorders.
After this, some symptoms will disappear making owners believe the dog has 'gotten over it', but if they do not observe carefully, corneal edema and kidney lesions will continue and cause your dog harm.
The vet will issue several vaccinations to help treat the virus. It is important to clean the entire house or wherever the dog has been with household bleach to completely kill any viruses living outside of the host. It appears that places that exhibit in constant vaccinations will have less indications of the virus present.
Even though this is an canine adenovirus type-1, most vaccinations will contain the canine adenovirus type-2 to eradicate type 1. Type 1 has enough similarity to type 2 that this vaccine will prevent your dog from having both.