Not many people realize that dogs already get the most basic of vaccines that cover coronavirus. However, the question is how to vaccinate your dog and howoften
Coronavirus has been all over the news lately. But many people don’t know what a coronavirus actually is. And many more people don’t know that there’s already a coronavirus vaccine for dogs.
While there isn’t a vaccine for COVID-19, there are other coronaviruses that you can protect your furry friend from. Interested in learning more? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through how to vaccinate your dog and how often you need to do it.
What Is a Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is part of a large group of viruses. These viruses can infect humans as well as other mammals and even birds.
If you looked at coronavirus cells through a microscope, you would see spiky points on their outer surfaces. These points look kind of like a crown, which is called “corona” in Latin.
Under the spiky exterior, you’ll find a round core that’s covered in an oily membrane and various proteins. This core is what contains the genetic information that the virus uses to harm vulnerable cells in its host.
Spiked proteins are released from the core and come up to the surface of the virus. This helps the virus to attach itself to specific cells in the body.
When the spike latches onto a host cell, the virus and the cell merge. When this occurs, the virus sheds its membrane and uses this new cell to start making more viruses.
What Is Canine Respiratory Coronavirus?
CRCoV, or canine respiratory coronavirus, is a group 2 coronavirus. Genetically, it’s related to cattle coronaviruses as well as the coronavirus that causes the common cold in people.
CRCoV was first discovered in England in 2003. The virus most commonly affects dogs in Ireland, Italy, the UK, Greece, and Japan. More recently, it’s been affecting dogs in Canada and the United States.
When a dog becomes infected with canine respiratory coronavirus, it can suffer from an acute respiratory infection and they can exhibit what’s known as “kennel cough,” also known as canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD). While this coronavirus can cause CIRD on its own, CIRD can also come from co-infections.
For example, canine respiratory coronavirus can pair up with:
- parainfluenza virus
- distemper virus
- influenza virus
- Mycoplasma spp
- herpes virus
- Bordetella bronchiseptica
- Streptococcus zooepidemicus
The risk of contracting canine respiratory coronavirus is at its highest when large numbers of dogs are in close proximity to each other for extended periods of time. Such places include shelter facilities, racing greyhound kennels, dog shows, and training/boarding kennels.
Dogs of all breeds and ages can contract the virus. With that said, there’s no evidence the virus can infect any people or other animal species.
What Is Canine Coronavirus Disease
CCoV, or canine coronavirus disease, is a coronavirus disease that is essentially unrelated to CRCoV. CCoV is a highly infectious disease that affects a dog’s intestines. While this disease is usually short-lived, it can create significant abdominal discomfort in dogs.
This disease is gastrointestinal and doesn’t affect the dog’s respiratory system. Dogs tend to get infected by CCoV when their mouths come into contact with infected fecal matter. A dog can get it from direct contact with an infected dog or from eating food bowls that have been contaminated.
When dogs are kept in unsanitary and crowded conditions, coronavirus transmission is very likely to occur. The incubation period can last between one and five days and the illness can last up to ten days.
CCoV is most likely to occur in puppies and there are several symptoms you can look out for. Diarrhea is the most common symptom of CCoV. It’s usually followed by loss of appetite and lethargy.
The stool tends to be loose and have an orange tint. When puppies have a coinfection, such as the parvovirus and coronavirus, the symptoms can be more severe.
Luckily there are vaccines available for CCoV. The vaccine isn’t recommended for all dogs. Your vet will administer the vaccine based on your dog’s risk assessment and lifestyle.
What Is the Parvovirus?
As the parvovirus also causes diarrhea in dogs, it can often be confused with the coronavirus. The parvovirus is extremely contagious and mainly affects puppies. Without proper treatment, the disease can be fatal.
Thankfully, parvo is a preventable virus. Although the parvo vaccine for dogs isn’t 100% effected, it’s still recommended for all dogs.
The vaccine is usually given as three shots when the dog is around seven weeks old. It’s then given when the dog is eleven weeks and finally fifteen weeks.
Dogs that are unvaccinated should avoid other unvaccinated dogs. They should also steer clear of areas where unvaccinated tend to visit. This includes boarding kennels and dog parks.
While you may feel tempted to take your dog with you wherever you go, you need to be extremely cautious until the dog has been completely vaccinated.
The Importance of Knowing How To Vaccinate Your Dog For Different Diseases
We all love our dogs. But being a dog owner means being responsible for your dog’s safety and health. This is why it’s so important to know how to vaccinate your dog for things like the coronavirus, parvo, and other diseases.
So if you happen to be the lucky owner of a new puppy, make sure that you consult with your vet and see which vaccines your new dog should be getting.
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