This disease has symptoms similar to Distemper, it attacks the liver, kidneys, eyes, heart, respiratory and immune systems and can be fatal. Infectious hepatitis spreads in bodily fluids i.e. urine, stools and saliva, through direct contact with an infected dog, or from a contaminated area or object where an infected dog has been.
The symptoms progress as the virus takes hold.
- Loss of appetite
- Pale or yellow gums
- Painful/swollen abdomen
- Small red dots on gums or skin
There is no specific treatment; however, the symptoms themselves can be treated. A dog with a mild case of infectious hepatitis has a good chance of surviving if they receive immediate treatment from a vet. More severely infected dogs are unfortunately less likely to recover and sadly, often die or need to be put to sleep to stop them from suffering.
Infected dogs are often a risk to other dogs for a long time because they shed the virus in their urine, even up to 9 months after recovery. This virus can also survive in the environment for months another reason why it’s very important to have your dog vaccinated regularly to keep them protected.
Yearly booster vaccinations are important for maintaining your dog’s antibody protection against these nasty diseases. A booster includes a full health check with the vet where you will be able to discuss any concerns you may have about your dog’s health or behaviour.