Coronavirus has been making the news over the past few weeks as more than 900 people worldwide have contracted the virus – two cases of which have been diagnosed in the U.S. (both people had recently traveled to the area of the outbreak in Wuhan China). This has caused a few of our clients to contact us with questions because they recognized the word “coronavirus” from their dog’s vaccination records. So today, our Raleigh veterinarian team is going to tell you what you need to know about canine coronavirus.
Coronavirus: Raleigh Veterinarians Talk About Canine Coronavirus
Firstly, and most importantly, you need to know that there are different strains of the coronavirus and there are many different living things that can contract the different strains. But you should also know that coronavirus is a rather large family of viruses and not all strains of the virus can infect multiple species and different strains can be contracted in different ways. The infection of humans with animal strains of coronavirus is quite a rare occurrence.
The Recent Coronavirus Outbreak in China
The recent coronavirus outbreak among humans in Wuhan, China, is believed to have spread from human contact with live animals being sold in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market and it is now spreading between humans. When humans are infected with coronavirus, the different types of viruses can cause symptoms that vary wildly and range from cold-like symptoms, to those of SARS. The new strain of virus that is infecting humans is being referred to as 2019-nCoV, is said to present with symptoms similar to but of less severity than those of SARS.
If you familiarize yourself with your dog’s vaccinations, then you will notice that your dog is vaccinated against coronavirus. This is likely what is causing many pet parents to ask us about the coronavirus in China. So, what should you know about the correlation between 2019-nCoV and canine coronavirus?
Canine coronavirus infection (referred to as CCV) is an intestinal disease that can be found in dogs all around the world. It is exceptionally contagious and is specific to Canidae species – both wild and domestic. When dogs become infected with CCV, they may show no symptoms at all, or they may have relatively mild digestive symptoms that come and go. If, however, your dog contracts CCV along with another virus like Parvovirus, symptoms are much more severe and can be life threatening.
Fortunately, if your dog is up to date on their vaccinations, they will have been vaccinated against coronavirus. This vaccination is included in your puppy’s DHPP vaccinations (the series of vaccinations you get for your puppy) and it is also in the DHPP vaccinations that your adult dog receives every 1 to 2 years. This vaccination protects your dog against contracting canine coronavirus. If your dog has not had their regular vaccinations and they do contract CCV, there is no cure and veterinary care involves treating your dog’s symptoms while they fight through the virus.
How Does The Current Coronavirus Correlate to Canine Coronavirus?
The current strain of the coronavirus that is of concern in China (2019-nCoV) is one of three viral strains that is known to cause severe symptoms in humans. It is not known exactly what animal may have passed the virus on to humans in Wuhan, China, but the 2002 SARS outbreak (a similar virus which is referred to as SARS-CoV) was traced backed to civet cats and raccoon dogs sold in live markets in China. This means that it is posible that dogs can be infected with 2019-nCoV, but no one can say with certainty if this is the case.
Not much is known for certain about the current outbreak of coronavirus in humans, but we do know that to date, the majority of diagnoses have been made in Wuhan, China or people who were recently in Wuhan China. This makes it unlikely that the average Raleigh, NC citizen needs to worry about this virus. Additionally, there is no evidence that dogs can or do carry this particular strain of the virus.
As 2019-nCoV Spreads What Should You Know?
At the moment, many people are concerned about the spread of 2019-nCoV, the new strain of coronavirus affecting humans. With that said, every case to date has been linked to visitation or habitation in Wuhan, China. As this viral outbreak bears so much resemblance to the outbreak of SARS in the early 2000’s, it’s likely that the current action being taken in China to limit the spread of the virus and adherence to U.S. travel advisories will bring it’s spread to a slow and eventually a halt.
For the moment, however, you should know that 2019-nCoV is NOT the same virus strain as canine coronavirus, it is not known whether dogs can even carry this particular strain of coronavirus, and the current outbreak is geographically limited with all cases originating in Wuhan, China.
What If My Dog Shows Symptoms of Coronavirus?
As we mentioned above, the current strain of coronavirus that is affecting humans is not the same strain that we vaccinate our dogs for and it is unlikely that you or your dog will be exposed to 2019-nCoV. If, however, you believe that your dog is showing any upper respiratory symptoms that might indicate CCV or any other illness, it’s always important to drop in and pay your vet a visit right away!
Are You Looking for a Veterinarian in Raleigh?
If you’re looking for a reputable veterinarian in Raleigh, Leesville Animal Hospital is here to help! We’d love for you and your furry family members to join our family here at 9309 Leesville Rd. in Raleigh, NC. To make an appointment with one of our veterinarians, just give us a call today at (919)870-7000.