Infectious Canine Hepatitus Virus

Infectious Canine Hepatitus Virus

Infectious canine hepatitis is an acute liver infection in dogs caused by canine adenovirus type-1 (CAV-1). CAV-1 also causes disease in wolves, coyotes, and bears, and encephalitis in foxes.The virus is spread through contact with infected dogs via feces, urine, blood, saliva, and nasal discharge. Pathogens enter the body through the mouth or nose, where it replicates in the tonsils.


The most common method of transmission of CAV-1 is direct contact with an infected dog, especially the animal’s urine. However, contaminated kennels or living quarters, bowls and other supplies, and human hands and shoes can also spread the virus. The virus enters a dog’s body through the nose or mouth and invades the tonsils, where it replicates and infects nearby lymph nodes. 


Canine hepatitus virus attacks vital internal organs such as the liver and kidneys, though is rarely fatal. Symptoms develop after 4 to 7 days and may include:

  • Acute nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Light-colored stools
  • Painful abdominal swelling
  • High fever
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Tonsillitis
  • Jaundice
  • Pale gums, tongue, and nose.

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