What is canine herpes virus?
Herpes virus is a disease that primarily causes miscarriage, stillbirths and infertility in adult dogs, and early death in young puppies.
How do dogs contract herpes virus?
Canine herpes virus lives in the reproductive and respiratory tracts of male and female dogs. In adults, the disease is transmitted via aerosol and direct contact, including sneezing, coughing, nosing, sniffing, licking and sexual activities between an infected and an uninfected dog. Puppies usually contract the disease in the birth canal or from nasal and oral secretions of the mother shortly after birth. Puppies can also spread the virus to one another. Just because one puppy in a litter is infected with CHV does not mean they all are.
What signs to look out for
- Most show no signs
- Some have lesions on genitals
- Kennel cough
- Sudden death
- Inappetance and lethargy
- Haemorrhages, such as nose bleeds and small bruises
How do we prevent herpes infection?
A vaccination for pregnant dogs is available. It is given to the dam (mother) twice: once during heat or early pregnancy and then once, one to two weeks before whelping.