Rotavirus also known as Intestinal Viral Infection is a virus which may cause infection in both human or animals. Your pet is not an exception, this virus may affect cats, cattle, pigs, bird, and dogs. In this article we will discuss how this virus affects one of them : your dog, how to treat it and the way how to prevent your dog from being infected.
Let’s start with : what is rotavirus?
It has been mentioned that rotavirus is a virus which can bring infection to your dogs. This virus may cause some disease such as gastroenteritis and diarrhea to your dog.
Most of dogs will not show any symptom, but the puppies will. They which are under 12 weeks old will experience watery diarrhea. Although this infection is categorized as a non serious disease, it will endanger your dogs’ life if the infection comes with weight loss, dehydration, fever, nausea, vomiting and unwillingness to eat. In most cases the symptoms, after being treated, will clear in a few days (8-10 days), but some may need longer than that.
If your puppy or dog shows one of those symptoms along with diarrhea, you should take him to the veterinarian to get a check up which will help you to know whether your pet is affected by rotavirus or another cause.
What cause intestinal viral infection?
The main culprit is the rotavirus, which is spread through contact with the feces or another fluid of infected pets. Yet the virus itself rarely to bring some effects to your dog, other factors are involved such as :
The pet’s age
Puppies, especially those which are under 12 weeks old have more risk to be infected since they have not enough any antibody. Dogs which older than that usually do not show any symptom.
Weakened immune system
Puppies or dogs with weak immune systems are commonly infected by this virus.
Large population of feral dogs
Feral dogs may bring rotavirus and spread it to your pet.
Combined with other viruses
Rotavirus may do not work alone to infect your dog, for example it may combine with canine parvovirus or coronavirus.
Living in poor hygiene
Living in overly stressed environment.
How to treat a dog with rotavirus?
Actually there is no any certain medication for a dog with rotavirus infection. The treatment is symptomic, means that many veterinarian may just give some treatments to control the symptoms. For example your vet may give your dog a dietary restiction. And to control dehydration caused by diarrhea or poor appetite of your dogs, your vet will give extra fluids and electrolytes to replace the lost fluids. If your dog has been really weak caused by lacking of essential nutrients and canot drink the fluids on its own, your vet may give it to them intravenously.
How to prevent Intestinal Viral Infection?
Although rotavirus infection is rarely to bring any fatal effect to your dog, the common effects are more than enough to make your pets suffer, so that prevention is necessary. The following recommendations will help you to prevent your dog to be infected by rotavirus :
- Since puppies are the easiest to be infected, you can give them milk of an immune booster which help them to have antibodies which are strong enough to fight the rotavirus.
- Quarantine the infected dogs or puppies from the others to prevent the virus spread. Remember that rotavirus is zoonotic, which may spread and infect both another pet or human.
- Desinfecting your dogs’ living area.
- Limit your puppy or dog’s exposure to the infected dogs.
- Limit your puppies or dogs out into the public area which many dogs are everywhere until he becomes older than 12 weeks or it is much better to keep him until he reaches 15 or 200 weeks old.