Canine Herpes Virus (cont.)

How Is Canine Herpes Diagnosed?

If a puppy is stillborn or dies soon after birth, a necropsy should be performed to determine the cause of death. There are many potential causes for puppy death, and you will want to evaluate whether the rest of the litter is at risk and what care is needed. Please call your veterinarian for instructions on how to arrange this.

Adult dogs are generally tested for CHV if they are intended for breeding or if their history suggests a problem with CHV. A veterinarian may check bloodwork to attempt to confirm recent exposure to the virus.

How Is Canine Herpes Treated?

Anytime newborn puppies are observed to be unwell or “fading,” it is crucial that you contact the vet. If CHV is confirmed, treatment can begin with antiviral medication and supportive care. It is also important to keep puppies warm, as the virus requires a low temperature to survive. Unfortunately, death often occurs rapidly in CHV-infected puppies despite good care.

How Can Canine Herpes Be Prevented?

CHV is a common virus that many adult dogs come into contact with. The best way to combat this disease in young puppies is through preventing exposure of the bred mother dog to other adult dogs and the exposure of young puppies to adult dogs. It is important to isolate a pregnant female from other dogs during the high-risk period-both late in her pregnancy and during the first three weeks after birth. A CHV vaccine exists, but is not yet licensed for use in the United States.