Canine Infectious Hepatitis

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Canine Infectious Hepatitis

By: Ron Swerdfiger

What is Canine Infectious Hepatitis?

The word hepatitis refers to an inflamation of the liver. First reported in 1947, Canine Infectious Hepatitis (CIH), is a caused by canine adenovirus. Almost every dog will come in contact with the virus at least once in their life time. The virus may pass through the dog, causing little to no adverse effects, or the virus may be so severe, the dog will die within hours of initial symptoms.. CIH effects the liver, lymphoid system and blood vessel walls.

How Can Canine Infectious Hepatitis Spread?

Most often CIH is spread through direct contact with the virus usually through urine, feces or saliva. Though direct contact with an infected dog is the most common transmission of CIH, bites from mosquitoes, fleas, and tics are also know to transmit the virus. The incubation period of the virus is only a few weeks, however, CIH can be passed through the urine up to one year after infection.

What Are The Symptoms Of Canine Infectious Hepatitis?

Depending on the severity of the infection symptoms can include

Minor symptoms

  • loss of appetite

  • pale feces

  • fever

  • nasal and eye discharge

  • coughing

  • temporary corneal opacity " Blue eye "

Severe Symptoms

  • abdominal pain,

  • vomiting, diarrhea,

  • edema (subcutaneous fluid swelling) of the head and neck

  • jaundice

Are All Dog At Risk To Canine Infectious Hepatitis?

Yes. Most adult dogs with healthy immune systems can produce antibodies that can fight the virus. However CIH can remain in the dogs system up to one year after infection. Since the CiH is an infectious virus, a known infected dog should be properly treated and quarantined.

What Is The Treatment For Canine Infectious Hepatitis?

At this time, there is no cure for the actual virus which causes CIH. Treatment mainly consists of controlling spread and severity of secondary ailments such as, vomiting, diarrhea and fluid discharge. In most cases the virus runs its course in a couple days. In severe cases treatment will involve antibiotics and liver treatment.

Is There Any Way To Prevent Canine Infectious Hepatitis?

Have your dog vaccinated!!! Pups should be vaccinated at 6 weeks of age, and re-vaccinated every 3-4 weeks until 16 months old. Adult dogs should be vaccinated every year. Like most contagious viruses, prevention is often the only viable solution. Due to mass vaccination of domesticated dogs, CIH has decreased dramatically in North America, and therefor has become less of a hazzard..

Ths website only provides BASIC information about canine distemper, your veterinarian is always your best source of health information. Consult your

About The Author

Ron Swerdfiger

For more great articles, and tons of other dog info, visit


cb103364 09.03.2009. 10:03

What age are these vaccinations required please? Can i please have some help in identifying the age when the vaccines below are needed.. e.g Parvo is needed when the dog reaches 6months..etc

Parvovirus -

Canine infectious hepatitis -

Leptospirosis -

Distemper -

Parainfluenza virus -

Rabies -

All help appreciated
Thank you


Admin 09.03.2009. 10:03

Parvo is given well before the 6 mos of age....pups are very prone to this disease at a very early age, and can get it at birth as well, but most will contract it at around 5 wks or a litlte older, can get it at any age if around dogs with the virus..I have seen full litters die due to Parvo at can check this also with your vet.

so you need the pup to be taken to your vet at the age of 4 wks for a vet check and let them tell you when to begin the vaccinations...if you wait till the 9-11 wks of age, you are risking the pup of contracting something before that age.

and rabies, whether you take the dog abroad or not, still needs rabies in the UK, a lot of people do not give it there, but most do, there are all kinds of animals in the UK that can bite and spread the Rabies disease..

Have seen many shows on the UK and they all say the same thing, rabies is contracted by several I would not take the chance..

the best thing to do, is to protect your dog, and take to the vet, and let your vet decide what is best for the dog...if he says no rabies is needed then no rabies is needed, but in my opinion, and this is just me, abroad or not, my dogs would have the rabies vaccination..

the puppy will need a series of puppy shots, and again your vet will set the dates for the shots to be given.....

here in the US, most breeders will make sure the pups have their first puppy shots at 6 wks old, then 2nd set at 8 wks, 12 and 16 wks...

I do not know how they do it in the UK but all the shots are the same, and all pups need them to keep them immuned after leaving the mom and her immunity from her milk

Bordatella::; you can give once a year after the puppy shots are done,,.,.however, I prefer a booster every 6 mos, because if you ever have to board a dog, this is double protection against kennel cough.....

good luck

yep, your right, that be her....LOL


Keith 07.07.2013. 08:37

How do I protect my dog with out vaccination? how do I protect my dog from Canine Parvovirus normally known as Parvo. Distemper Infectious Canine Hepatitis Leptospirosis Kennel Cough without vaccination
Thank you for your advice as the vet will no longer attempt to vaccinate as she was bitten twice I take it you would come and holder her as she is vaccinated?
The vet put a muzzle on but got it off.


Admin 07.07.2013. 08:37

I'm with Dorothy S on this and she deserves best answer.
I do not have mine vaccinated yearly for exactly the same reasons, nor do I rush to the vet for every little thing which invariably results in an unnecessary prescription for antibiotics. A friend of mine just took her Jack Russell for a very small cut on the leg which would have healed by itself. They came away with the dog having had a injection, a course of meds and SLEEPING PILLS !!
You can effectively use nosodes. They are not recognised by insurance companies but as long as you never claim for any condition which could have been prevented by vaccination then its fine.
I have to ask, why is your dog so badly behaved and if so why don't you just muzzle it ?


~SHAK3 D3M HAT3RS 0FF~ 24.01.2009. 23:44

If this dog already has this vaccinations how many more do they need? I am planning to adopt a dog from the Houston Humane Society and it says that the put these vaccinations:Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Infectious canine hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Leptospira canicola and icterhaemorrhagiae infections
if they have these how many more are needed?
Its a puppy yall!


Admin 24.01.2009. 23:44

Rabies, at least 1 more 6-way & maybe Bordetella.

A heartworm check would be good too.


jack s 12.10.2008. 00:53

I need to know of any and all reasons for a boston terrier puppy to have bluish cloudy eyes? I understand this is a possible symptom of having been exposed to infectious canine hepatitis. What else might cause this?
the vet said they are cataracts but im just curious if they could have been a result of cav infection. whats the probability?

jack s

Admin 12.10.2008. 00:53

He could be going blind. Go to the vet to be sure.


crazywoman88 01.09.2006. 18:43

Is hepatitis in dogs contagious to humans? My daughter's dog was diagnosed with Hepatitis. Is there any chance the rest of the family could get it from him?


Admin 01.09.2006. 18:43

Infectious Hepatitis is a life threatening viral disease caused by Adenovirus I. Infectious hepatitis can be fatal, but can sometimes be treated with hospitalization. Infectious hepatitis is transmitted in the urine, saliva, and feces of the dog. All ages of dog can be affected. Infectious hepatitis, in certain cases, can induce a severe fever, vascular collapse, and death within hours of onset. However, most cases involve mild fever, anorexia, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, enlarged lymph nodes, and in some cases a type of inflammation to the eye giving the cornea a "blue eye" appearance. Canine Infectious Hepatitis should not be confused with the Hepatitis B or other such hepatitis that occur in humans; the two are not the same therefore this hepatitis is not contagious to people.


I Shall Rise! 10.10.2009. 20:17

is there a difference between parvovirus and hepatitis in dogs? what are the causes of parvo and hepatitis in dogs ?

I Shall Rise!

Admin 10.10.2009. 20:17

Canine Parvovirus
Parvovirus emerged as one of the common dog diseases in the late 1970s and devastated the pet population. Vaccines have curbed its mortal effects, but the virus is unfortunately widespread through infected feces and can remain in the environment for years.

Many dogs have a naturalized, low-level immunity to parvovirus from exposure, but the window of risk is dangerous. Sick dogs with diarrheal parvovirus only have a fifty percent chance of survival in the first four days, and puppies, the sole sufferers of cardiac parvovirus, will almost certainly die if infected.

Diarrheal parvovirus symptoms can be treated if noticed immediately:

?Loss of appetite
?Greyish, liquidy, or bloody feces
?Rapid dehydration
?Chills and extremely high temperatures
There is no treatment for cardiac parvovirus?puppies often die within minutes.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis
Most instances of canine hepatitis are fairly mild compared to the ravages of other common dog diseases, but knowing what needs attention makes the difference between recovery and death.

Canine hepatitis is caused by the canine adenovirus. The disease is not related to human hepatitis, but the dog symptoms may present the same:

?Cloudy eyes
?Light-colored stool
?Enlargement of the stomach
Canine hepatitis can be transmitted by fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, but it is usually passed through direct contact with an infected animal that sheds the virus in urine and feces.

The virus travels to the tonsils and lymph nodes and remains for eight days before it enters the blood, so if you learn that your pet was exposed to a sick dog,


BTB2211 07.11.2007. 09:38

When do I need to vaccinate my new puppy? I am getting a puppy on Friday. He will be 8 1/2 weeks old when I get him. He will have already been given one of vaccinations before he comes. But I need to know at what ages does he need to keep getting his vaccinations? Please list all ages he needs to get his shots. Thanks.


Admin 07.11.2007. 09:38

The usual protocol is to give the first vaccination at 8 weeks of age. This is known as a 'C3', and covers the three very serious, potentially fatal dog diseases- Parvovirus, Infectious Hepatitis and Canine Distemper. A second vaccination is given at around 12 weeks of age. This one is a 'C5'- it includes the 'C3' as I've listed above, and also canine parainfluenza virus and Bordatella, which are the most commonly involved organisms in Kennel Cough. Another 'C5' is given at around 16 weeks of age. Some C3's are registered for use only once every 3 years, some are recommended to be done every year. Kennel cough should be done every year, as it doesn't provide long lasting immunity.

If you live in the US, vaccination against rabies is required, however as an Australian I'm not 100% sure of the protocols. As far as I know, the first shot is 3-4 months old, a booster at 12 months old, and then every 3 years, but this is something you'll need to double check if it's applicable to you.

You will also need to worm him (gastrointestinal worms). Double check that he was given a dose just before you got him, and he will then need repeat treatments at 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 4 months, 5 months and 6 months (then every 3 months thereafter). You should also have him on heartworm prevention by around 5-6 months of age, and be getting him desexed at around 6 months of age also.

Also, as someone else said, get him vet checked as soon as you bring him home. If you register him as a patient, many clinics will do an initial puppy check free of charge, as long as you plan on returning there to have his vaccinations done.


charliesangel_84 14.06.2006. 15:00

How Long Does It Take for Dogs To Get Over Kennel Cough? I just purchases a Japanese Chin puppy. He is 12 weeks old and has kennel cough, I have had him for about 5 days. How long does it usually take for a puppy to get over kennel cough?


Admin 14.06.2006. 15:00

How is it Treated?

Although most cases will go away on their own, we like to think we can hasten recovery with antibiotics to directly kill the Bordetella organism. Alternatively, kennel cough may be treated with cough suppressants to provide comfort during natural recovery. Or antibiotics and cough suppressants can be combined.

When Is it a Serious Condition?

In very young puppies, especially those with a recent shipping history (i.e., pet store puppies) are especially prone to severe cases of infectious tracheobronchitis (frequently progressing to pneumonia).

In dogs where the distemper virus is involved (usually shelter or pet store puppies), there is tremendous potential for serious consequences.

Vaccination Options

There are basically two options for Kennel cough vaccination: injectable and intranasal.

Injectable is a good choice for aggressive dogs, who may bite if their muzzle is approached. It provides good systemic immunity as long as two doses are given after age 4 months (with an annual booster). Injectable vaccination may only lead to less severe infection and not complete prevention.

Intranasal vaccination may be given as early as 2 weeks of age and immunity generally lasts 10 to 12 months. (Usually this vaccine is boosted annually.) The advantage here is that the local immunity is stimulated, right at the site where the natural infection would be trying to take hold.

It takes 4 days to generate a solid immune response after intranasal vaccination so it is best if vaccination is given at least 4 days prior to the exposure. Some dogs will have some sneezing or nasal discharge in the week following intranasal vaccination. As a general rule, nasal vaccination provides faster immunity than injectable vaccination.

Parainfluenza, Adenovirus type 2, and canine distemper, all members of the Kennel Cough complex, are all covered by the standard DHLPP vaccine, the basic vaccine for dogs. Adenovirus Type 2 serum also immunizes against Adenovirus Type 1, the agent of infectious canine hepatitis.

What if it Doesn't Improve?

As previously noted, this infection is generally self-limiting. It should be at least improved partially after one week of treatment. If no improvement has been observed in this time, a re-check exam (possibly including radiographs of the chest) would be a good idea.


Lys J 06.11.2008. 17:17

what is a disease causing agent? I'm supposed to do a powerpoint presentation on Infectious canine hepatitis. It says that it is caused by canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). would that be the disease causing agent? some sources on the internet, though, say that it is the same thing as infectious canine disease. can anyone tell me anything about that?

Lys J

Admin 06.11.2008. 17:17

it's a virus that is specifically to dog family/wolf/. not transmitted to people, There are diseases that humans and animals can share. Look up zoonotic diseases.
Disease causing agents are viruses, bacteria, flies etc.
Diseases have different names for same condition.
Read more about infectious canine disease or call a vet for more info..


whatever 21.07.2010. 07:22

Can I take my Welsh Corgi camping? I'm going camping this weekend and I'm wondering if he can tag along. He got his shots for distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parovirus just yesterday. The puppy is 9 weeks old. Thanks in advance!


Admin 21.07.2010. 07:22

If you go camping often, and plan on taking him with you next time, you should certainly take him with you!

You shouldn't restrict the dogs socialization and experiences just because he hasn't had all his shots! (after all, we don't keep our kids from school and friends just because they haven't had all their shots!) 9 weeks is a great learning period, and the more positive experiences you can throw at them the better!

Just keep an eye on him, and check him for ticks often! He'll be fine if you do that!


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