Coronavirus Enteritis

Coronavirus enteritis is an inflammatory viral disease caused by Canine coronavirus (CCV, or CCoV). Coronaviruses cause acute and chronic respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system diseases in many species of animals, including humans. Dogs of all ages are susceptible to infection. Infection occurs through ingestion of the virus, infected animals or their feces. Younger animals are more severely affected. Although in puppies canine coronavirus causes mild or moderate inflammatory bowel disease, there have been reports of fatal infections in adult dogs. The virus is highly contagious, and avoiding contact with infected dogs and their feces or urine is the only way to ensure disease prevention. Clinical signs may include depression, loss of appetite, diarrhea (sometimes with blood), and vomiting unrelated to eating. Stools are loose, often yellow-orange and foul-smelling. Signs may last approximately 3 to 20 days. Dual infection with parvovirus may result in a more severe, and even fatal disease.4

Definitive diagnosis requires laboratory tests to detect viral particles in the stool. In most cases, recovery without treatment occurs within 7 to 10 days. Occasionally, diarrhea may persist for several weeks. Treatment is supportive only and consists of controlling vomiting and fluid loss. Although in general dogs and puppies rarely die from diarrheal diseases, deaths can occur as a result of electrolyte and water loss with subsequent dehydration and shock. Inactivated and modified live virus (MLV) vaccines are available for protection against CCoV infection. Annual revaccination is recommended for immunization of dogs regardless of age. These vaccines are relatively safe.3

  • Enteritis - inflammation of any segment of the small intestine.
  • Modified live virus vaccine - attenuated vaccine; a vaccine prepared from live microorganisms that have lost their virulence but retained their ability to induce protective immunity.


  1. Mordecai Siegal. UC Davis Book of Dogs
  2. Canio Buonavoglia, Nicola Decaro, Vito Martella, Gabriella Elia, Marco Campolo, Costantina Desario, Massimo Castagnaro, and Maria Tempesta, University of Bari, Bari, Italy, and University of Padua, Padova, Italy. Canine Coronavirus Highly Pathogenic for Dogs.
  3. C. Greene. Infectious Diseases Of The Dog And Cat
  4. Richard W. Nelson, C. Guillermo Couto. Small Animal Internal Medicine

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