Canine Coronaviral Enteritis | Coronaviral Enteritis in Dogs

Canine Coronaviral Enteritis | Coronaviral Enteritis in Dogs

Coronaviral enteritis in dogs
occurs when coronavirus invades and destroys mature cells on the intestinal villi. Because intestinal crypts remain intact, villi regenerate faster in dogs with coronaviral enteritis than in dogs with parvoviral enteritis; bone marrow cells are not affected.
Coronaviral enteritis in dogs is typically less severe than classic parvoviral enteritis and rarely causes hemmorrhagic diarrhea, septicema, or death. Older dogs may be affected in addition to younger dogs. Signs may last approximately 3 to 20 days, and small or very young dogs may die from dehydration or electrolyte abnormalities if they are not properly treated. Dual infection with parvovirus may produce a high incidence of morbidity and mortality.

Because coronaviral enteritis in dogs is usually much less severe than many other enteritides, it is seldom definitely diagnosed. Most dogs are treated symptomatically for acute enteritis until they improve. Electron microscopic examination of feces obtained early in the course of the disease can be diagnostic. However, the virus is fragile and easily disrupted by inappropriate handling of the feces. A history of contagion and eliminating other causes are reasons to suspect coronaviral enteritis in dogs.

Fluid therapy, motility modifiers and time should resolve most cases of coronaviral enteritis in dogs. Symptomatic therapy is usually successful except perhaps for very young dogs. A vaccination is available but of uncertain value except perhaps in dogs at high risk of infection (e.g., those in infected kennels or dog shows). The prognosis for recovery is usually good.

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