Major global problem
Since the beginning of 2020 the world is faced with the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally the spread started in China but within a short amount of time the outbreak has become a major global problem. All of us have (in one or in another way), have been, or will be, affected by this virus.
When I first heard of it, and the first memory related to the name corona that came to my mind, was when we came back from a dog show abroad and one of our show dogs fell ill. We went to the vet. Did some tests to establish what was making her ill, and the test results said she was infected by the Coronavirus.
It appeared to be the Canine Coronavirus (CCOV group 1). The Canine Corona CCOV is a highly contagious intestinal disease.
To cut a long story short. It affects/perforates the small intestines, which makes that the dog can´t take out the nutrients out of his food, dehydrates, and eventually will die if not treated. Especially puppies and young dogs are vulnerable for this virus.
We subsequently isolated the infected dog immediately from our other dogs.
At that time, we were having a new-born litter so we disinfected all our installations this to make sure that the infection would not further spread to the rest of our kennel. After about two months of being quarantined our show dog returned healthy to our kennels.
But still for another 4 months more we were very careful to let her interact with the other dogs, as theoretically there is a possibility that she can shed the virus for up to six months.
Canine Coronavirus is to be compared with mild Parvo
The Canine Coronavirus infection is best to compare with a mild Parvo infection. Similar clinical symptoms, but a much milder impact to the dog.
Second type Canine Coronavirus
Recently, a second type of Canine Coronavirus (Group II) has been shown to cause respiratory disease in dogs.
This virus is known as the Canine Respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV).
This virus was first isolated in the United Kingdom in 2003, but recent studies found that CRCov may have been present as far back as 1996.
This virus strain is apparently similar to the strain found in human coronaviruses.
The virus gets its name from the fact that when viewed from above under a microscope, the virus has a ring of projections that appear like a small crown made of ornaments fixed on a metal ring. Like you have read before, there are many types of coronavirus, each affecting different species, including humans.
Canine Coronavirus not the same as COVID-19
The point we would like to make here is that the “Canine coronavirus (CCoV) is definitely not the same virus as SARS-CoV-2 that causes the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). CCoV does not affect people. And vice versa.
The CCoV causes severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs, as opposed to the COVID-19 which is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in humans.
For now, several microbiologists, virologists who studied various coronaviruses for decades say that there is so far no scientific evidence that we will be able to give this virus to our pets, or we’re going to get it from them.
***Quoted by Dr. John Williams M.D. Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine which focus research is the basic and clinical investigation of respiratory viruses & Dr. William Schaffner M.D. infectious disease expert, a professor of preventative medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville***
Dr. Schaffner added “We don’t have to worry about pets. This virus now likes humans, but data show it’s not spreading among pets or farm animals,”
And finally Dr. Williams quoted :’In theory, if a patient with a virus in their nose rubbed their nose and got a bunch of virus on their hand and then petted their dog,”, “and then another family member petted that dog in the **exact** same place and then rubbed their nose, **maybe** they could transmit it.
“But if you’re living in a home with a person who has the virus, the risk factor is that human, not the pets,” he added.
We hope and pray that a vaccine for the human corona Covid-19 will be found soon. Only this vaccine can prevent us humans from getting ill.
The vaccine developed for fighting the canine coronavirus in our dogs will only work for the CCoV type of coronavirus. Unfortunately, this vaccine is not effective for the prevention of COVID-19 in humans.
Most vaccinologists don’t think this vaccine will be ready before 18 months when first started the research. No matter how fast you go, and of course assuming there won´t be any hitches during this process.
So, in the meantime, please stay safe, keep well….and enjoy your dogs!