When it comes to the canine herpes virus, dogs can walk around for a long period of time without displaying any signs of being sick at all. The condition acts much like herpes that occurs in humans. However, puppies that contract the virus can very easily get sick and die.
Most puppies that contract the virus are infected by their mother. The mother can infect her puppies while they’re still unborn, during birth, or soon thereafter. Touching noses, licking, and other forms of direct contact can transmit herpes virus in dogs. Adults are frequently infected via sexual contact.
As mentioned, adult dogs that contract the virus can go weeks, months, or years without displaying signs. Although they may not show any signs, they can still transmit the disease to other dogs. Females who are infected will have an especially difficult time when it comes to having a litter.
Resorption of the embryos commonly occurs and fetuses are commonly aborted. Puppies may be stillborn or die within two or three weeks after birth.
After being infected with canine herpes virus, dogs typically start showing signs anywhere from a few days up until a week later. Common signs of infected puppies include appetite loss, vomiting, and shallow breathing. Their abdomens will be painful because of an enlarged liver, and feces will have a yellowish-green color and be soft.
Most puppies die a day or two after they initially start showing symptoms. Some puppies will only show mild signs of disease even after being exposed to the virus at or near birth. The older a puppy is after being infected, the higher chance it has of survival.
There is no specific treatment for herpes virus in dogs. Your dog will need adequate rest and other supportive measures whenever an outbreak occurs. Young puppies may be provided IV or subcutaneous fluids and other supportive measures before they die of the disease.