The double-stranded, wheel-shaped rotavirus causes inflammation of the intestinal tracts and in severe cases, dysfunction in the digestive walls. It is the leading cause of diarrhea and intestinal upset in dogs. And although it can be seen in dogs at any age, pups are more vulnerable to rotavirus infections, specifically those less than 12 weeks old.
Cats are also vulnerable to rotavirus infections. If you want to find out more about how this disease impacts cats, please see this page.
Symptoms and Types
The main symptom of a rotavirus infection is moderate to moderate watery diarrhea. In severe cases, dogs might die from dehydration, extreme weight reduction, and/or an objection to eat. Dogs may likewise display tiredness or sleepiness.
Causes of Rotavirus Infections in Dogs
The rotavirus is generally transmitted through contact with infected feces. Dogs with underdeveloped or weak body immune systems and those residing in overly stressed out environments are most at risk for the infection.
In dogs, your doctor will likely try to eliminate other conditions prior to detecting rotavirus. Some causes for inflammation of the intestinal tract may consist of parvovirus (a rash disease), coronavirus (a virus impacting the intestinal tracts), astrovirus (causes diarrhea), herpesvirus, distemper infection, and canine reovirus (likewise called kennel cough).
Lab tests to identify the infection might consist of laboratory evaluation of tissue samples, or tiny expedition of feces. One such test is ELISA (or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), a biochemical technique. Your vet may likewise be able to recognize the infection utilizing a method called infection seclusion.
To officially detect rotavirus, a vet will analyze the intestinal villi (the small hairs lining the intestinal tract) and other cells within the intestinal wall, using special instruments to identify the rotavirus and antibodies the infection may have produced.
Treatment for Rotavirus Infections in Dogs
When the rotavirus is formally identified, your vet will start treatment to make sure a prompt recovery. Treatment involves symptomatic relief to eliminate the dog’s diarrhea and to help replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Your doctor will also recommend temporary dietary constraints to help alleviate a few of your dog’s intestinal tract pain.
Antibiotics are normally not recommended since they are just useful for bacterial, not viral infections.
Living and Management
Since rotaviruses are zoonotic, it is necessary that pet owners keep infected dogs far from kids, babies in particular. When handling the fecal matter of an infected animal, it is particularly crucial to use preventative measures, such as using latex gloves and disinfecting the animal’s living area.
Humans living in establishing countries are most at risk, typically experiencing lethal diarrhea. Price quotes recommend that in establishing countries approximately 500,000 children under age 5 die every year from rotavirus infections.
The best security for a pup is to consume the milk of an immune bitch, as they produce antibodies that might safeguard versus the rotavirus.