Canine Adenovirus

Type1- (part of DAPP vaccine)- Also known as infectious hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), this virus can cause sudden death in puppies and is extremely contagious, as it is spread in the urine and feces. More mild infections may cause fever, diarrhea and respiratory congestion, but more commonly severe signs such as bleeding, yellowing of the skin (icterus) and even seizures are noted. If the dog does recover, they may develop “blue eye”; cloudiness in the eyes that is a result of inflammation. There is no specific treatment for this, and even after recovery the dog will continue to shed virus in the urine and feces for up to one year. The best prevention is vaccination by a veterinarian beginning at 6 weeks and repeated every 3-4 weeks until 20 weeks of age, then every 1-3 years as an adult.

Canine Bordetella bronchiseptica – (Kennel Cough)

This bacteria is actually just one of a group of agents that can cause what is commonly referred to as “kennel cough” or infectious tracheobronchitis and laryngitis (inflammation of the airways). There are several other bacteria and viruses that can cause this condition, but the most common are Canine Parainfluenzavirus, Canine adenovirus- type1,2, and Canine Herpes. Dogs that are exposed to other dogs (such as in a kennel or dog park) or are stressed for any reason may be more susceptible to infection. This virus attacks the specialized cells in the respiratory tract that would normally defend against harmful irritants, viruses, and bacteria. It can take 4-10 days after being infected for the dog to display symptoms. Symptoms can include a mild productive or non-productive cough but can lead to loss of appetite, fever, and lethargy if a secondary bacterial infection takes advantage of the weakened immune system. Treatment may include a cough suppressant and/ or antibiotics if signs of secondary bacterial infection are present. The best prevention is vaccination by a veterinarian, either by oral administration, by intranasal route (where the liquid is applied directly into the nasal openings) or by injection.

Canine Distemper Virus – (part of DAPP vaccine)

Most commonly seen in young, unvaccinated puppies, but can affect dogs of any age. This virus causes a variety of symptoms which can include respiratory signs, diarrhea, and neurologic disease. It is airborne and shed in secretions of infected dogs or wildlife for up to 60 days after recovery. There is no specific treatment, and depending on the severity of the neurologic signs the seizures, loss of coordination, and paralysis that can result from infection may not be reversible. This disease can be devastating to an unvaccinated pet. The best prevention is vaccination by a veterinarian beginning at 6 weeks and repeated every 3-4 weeks until 20 weeks of age, then every 1-3 years as an adult.

Canine Parainfluenzavirus – (part of DAPP vaccine)

This virus is one of a group of agents that causes infectious tracheobronchitis and laryngitis (inflammation of the airways), commonly known as “kennel cough” in dogs. Dogs that are exposed to other dogs (such as in a kennel or dog park) or are stressed for any reason may be more susceptible to infection. This virus attacks the specialized cells in the respiratory tract that would normally defend against harmful irritants, viruses, and bacteria. It can take 4-10 days after being infected for the dog to display symptoms. Symptoms can include a mild productive or non-productive cough but can lead to loss of appetite, fever, and lethargy if a secondary bacterial infection takes advantage of the weakened immune system. Treatment may include a cough suppressant and/ or antibiotics if signs of secondary bacterial infection are present. The best prevention is vaccination by a veterinarian beginning at 6 weeks and repeated every 3-4 weeks until 20 weeks of age, then every 1-3 years as an adult.

Canine Parvovirus – (part of DAPP vaccine)

Most common cause of severe diarrhea and vomiting in young, unvaccinated puppies, but can affect dogs of any age. It is spread in feces of infected animals, is very resistant to many disinfectants, and is very contagious. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells, causing damage to the absorptive border of the small intestines and inhibiting the body’s ability to hold onto nutrients and electrolytes. After being infected, it can take 4-14 days before the dog shows signs of sickness, and these may range from mild lethargy and loss of appetite to severe, debilitating vomiting and bloody diarrhea. A low white blood cell count, anemia (low red blood cell count), and loss of protein can occur as a result of the infection and can make the pet very sick. There is no specific treatment, but without supportive care including antibiotics, fluids/electrolytes, and medications to treat nausea and diarrhea the virus can become life-threatening. While hospitalization is often recommended, especially in very sick pets, it may be possible to treat more mild cases with out-patient medications and injections. After recovery, the virus will still be shed in the feces for up to 1 month, and the environment must be disinfected with a diluted bleach solution. It is not recommended to have any new puppies in the environment for up to 6-12 months since some areas (such as the yard) may not be able to be properly disinfected. The best prevention is vaccination by a veterinarian beginning at 6 weeks and repeated every 3-4 weeks until 20 weeks of age, then every 1-3 years as an adult. Even if your pet was infected with Parvovirus, they are not immune and should be regularly vaccinated.

CBC – Complete Blood Count

This is a blood test that counts the number of blood cells in a sample of blood, usually expressed as the number of cells per liter of blood. If the total number of red blood cells is low, this is known as anemia. There are various types of white blood cells and each is accounted for by this process and can help in the diagnosis of certain diseases. This test is part a “minimum database” of information that is needed to screen for underlying disease or to monitor a sick patient.

CHEM – Blood Chemistry Panel

This blood test actually measures the individual chemical elements in the blood including glucose, liver and kidney enzymes, electrolytes, and many other parameters. This test is part of a “minimum database” of information that is needed to screen for underlying disease or to monitor a sick patient.

Coccidia

A sporozoan that causes diarrhea in many species, but can be particularly severe in young puppies and kittens, and is often fatal. Watery diarrhea is the most common symptom and is commonly found in strays or pets that come from shelters or kennels. Routine fecal testing can detect the oocysts (eggs) and treatment is with medication available by prescription through a veterinarian.

Cytology

The study cells, their origin, structure, function, and involvement in disease (using a microscope). Ear cytology is commonly performed to determine if an infection is present, and what type of infection it is, so that the appropriate treatment can be selected. This is done by using a cotton-tipped swab to collect a sample from the ear canal, which is then applied to a slide, stained, and examined under the microscope. Cytology can also be performed by using a needle to aspirate cells from a mass or lesion, then examining them on a slide. Often, these slides are sent to a pathologist, a board certified specialist in this area of veterinary medicine, to describe and suggest a diagnosis.