The Truth About Coronavirus in Dogs: What Should you Do?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that the Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic. Just hearing the word “pandemic” makes us panic.
As the virus outbreak continues, the world is forced to stockpile food, face masks, and supplies due to worldwide lockdowns. If you check your social media, even dogs are wearing masks to protect themselves from COVID-19. So, is it really possible for dogs to get infected by the COVID-19?
Different than COVID-19, canine coronavirus disease (CCoV) is an infectious disease that occurs in dogs’ intestines. This is most common in puppies since they are more vulnerable to infections. Although this is a short-lived virus, CCoV in dogs can cause abdominal problems that can last up to a week.
Infected dogs will show some symptoms that are usually not life-threatening. However, it’s important to observe your dog for potential health risks that can develop into a more serious condition. Keep in mind that CCoV can infect dogs through oral contact with fecal matter.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been misinformation that pets could spread coronaviruses to humans. However, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that there’s currently no evidence that pets can spread the COVID-19 virus.
To make sure you don’t pass the virus to your friendly companions at home, it’s important to practice social distancing and proper personal hygiene. If you are coughing on your hand, avoid touching your pet to prevent the spread of the disease. Even though there’s no evidence that the COVID-19 can be contracted by dogs, always treat your pet like a person that can be infected by the virus.
There are different types of coronavirus that affect specific species. For instance, there are 7 serovar types of coronavirus that can only affect humans. COVID-19 is just one of the types that infect humans. On the other hand, there are specific coronavirus serovars that only infect dogs but does not effect humans or even cats.
Since coronaviruses are a group of viruses that affect mammal’s respiratory tracts, they are usually associated with bronchitis, common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and pneumonia. However, these viruses cause common colds more often than any serious health problems.
Belonging to the Coronaviridae family and Coronavirinae subfamily, the following are the most common types of coronaviruses based on the severity of the disease and their capacity to spread widely:
- HKU1 beta coronavirus
- OC43 beta coronavirus
- NL63 alpha coronavirus
- 229E alpha coronavirus
In some cases, severe complications can be experienced from rarer strains such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. In 2019, a new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 was introduced and is currently causing the global pandemic named COVID-19.
Canine coronavirus disease is different from human coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2 that caused COVID-19. In dogs, the virus can lead to gastrointestinal problems instead of respiratory diseases. Incubation period takes up to 4 days after exposure. Most dogs may experience up to 10 days of illness with clinical signs that you need to observe carefully.
The following are the most common symptoms of COVID-19 in dogs:
- decreased appetite
- loose stool with orange tint
Secondary infections may also develop including other viruses, parasites, and bacteria that can prolong the illness, as well as recovery. Your dog can be a carrier of coronavirus for 180 days (6 months) after infection.
It’s important to have a plan in place in case your dog gets infected by CCoV. When you’re prepared, if your pet becomes infected, it’s easier to handle the problem and ensure full recovery.
Unfortunately, there’s no treatment for CCoV in dogs. Antibiotics cannot kill the virus, but can mitigate secondary infections typically caused by bacteria. Veterinarians recommend withholding dog food for 24 hours once diarrhea stops. Then gradually reintroduce smaller amounts of food in order to help your dog recover. Your dog’s ability to survive depends on how you take care of them while sick. Hydration is crucial to help your pet recover from the virus.
If your pet contracts CCoV, supportive care is the best home remedy. This can include anti-seizure medications, IV fluids, and other medications that control diarrhea and vomiting. In case of secondary bacterial infections, you can give your dog antibiotics with a vet’s prescription.
However, one of the best natural home remedies pet owners are using today is CBD. Although CBD products are not a cure for human coronaviruses, they can help treat canine coronavirus. CBD is proven to provide anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties while acting as natural treatment for vomiting and nausea.
CBD is painkilling, anti-nausea, and antiviral while strengthening your dog’s immune system. Moreover, it can reduce anxiety issues and stress as your pet fights the virus and tries to recover. However, you need to find a reliable brand that offers the highest quality of hemp in order to gain all its benefits.
More importantly, you need to understand the exact dosage of CBD for dogs and other pets. The dosage is based on the weight of your pet, 1 to 5 mg per 10 pounds of body weight. If you’re not sure about dosage, you can click here to consult your local vet to get the exact dosage for your pet’s health condition.