Infectious Canine Hepatitis In Dogs All you need to know about CAV-1.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis In Dogs Photo by Pixabay:

Thumbnail of Doxycycline


{{petcare_price|currency}} Price in Cart w/PetPlus {{petplus_price|currency}} See PetPlus Price in Cart

Canine infectious hepatitis is a viral infection that primarily affects the liver and kidneys. It's caused by a strain of canine adenovirus, which can be spread from dog to dog through close contact or by way of their feces.

Canine infectious hepatitis is caused by a type of adenovirus known as CAV-1, transmitted through infected dogs' feces. The virus can be spread through direct contact with these feces or through indirect contact with surfaces that have been contaminated. Canine infectious hepatitis is not contagious to humans and is also rare in adult dogs over 6 months old.  Although the virus itself isn't typically transmitted to humans, it can be dangerous for puppies under 6 months old and dogs with compromised immune systems (such as those with diabetes).

Signs Of Infectious Hepatitis In Dogs

Symptoms of infectious hepatitis include:

  • Fever

  • Loss of appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Weight loss

If you notice your dog is not eating, losing weight, and has pale-colored stools or dark urine, see your veterinarian immediately. The earlier you catch this disease, the better chance there is of treating it successfully.

How Is Infectious Hepatitis Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of infectious hepatitis when older animals show signs like weight loss and lethargy that aren’t typical enough for other diseases like cancer or diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes). In some cases, your veterinarian will recommend additional tests such as: 

  • Liver and kidney function tests

  • Blood tests

  • Radiographs (x-rays) of the abdomen to check for inflammation in the liver and kidneys.

  • Diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound or CT scan of the liver, spleen, and kidneys to look for enlargement or damage caused by infectious hepatitis. These tests may be used when there are no other signs of disease or if results from previous tests are unclear. 

  • Tissue biopsy – taking tissue samples so they can be examined under a microscope by a pathologist specializing in diagnosing diseases based on cell appearance (morphology).

How Is Infectious Hepatitis Treated?

Treatment for infectious canine hepatitis is generally supportive, with antibiotics for dogs and fluid therapy to help relieve your pup's symptoms. Blood transfusions may also be necessary to replace lost blood volume and help prevent clotting issues. If the liver damage is severe, surgery may be required to repair it.

Symptomatic treatment: Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the most effective way to manage your dog's symptoms during recovery. This can include pain pet medication, like Rimadyl, anti-nausea pet meds (to stop vomiting) like Metoclopramide for dogs, or other pet medicines designed to settle an upset stomach or bring down a fever on top of antibiotic use.

Supportive care: In addition to treating your dog's physical symptoms during his recovery, there are some things you can do at home that will make him more comfortable—and speed up his healing time! Some of these include keeping him well hydrated by offering lots of water (2-3 cups per 10 lbs.) throughout the day and making sure he gets plenty of rest so that he'll feel better when he wakes up each morning after sleeping all night long without any interruptions from trips outside or having his eyes opened wide open because something startled him awake before dawn when no one else was even around yet.

It Primarily Affects A Dog’s Liver And Kidneys

Infectious canine hepatitis, sometimes called infectious canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1), is a viral infection that primarily affects a dog’s liver and kidneys. CAV-1 belongs to the adenovirus family, which includes more than 40 different types of viruses that cause illness in humans and animals.

The virus can be spread through contact with infected saliva, urine, and feces. In addition to spreading through direct contact with other dogs, the virus can also be transmitted to puppies by nursing from an infected mother during their first few weeks of life.


Before you can begin to treat your dog for canine hepatitis, it’s important to understand what it is and how to prevent it from happening again in the future. There are many different types of infections that can be transmitted between dogs, so knowing what signs and symptoms to look for is essential. Fortunately, there are steps you can take today to ensure that you keep your pet safe from future risks.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like

Image for Understanding Feline Hepatic Lipidosis: The Silent Killer in Cats
Understanding Feline Hepatic Lipidosis: The Silent Killer in Cats

How to Protect Your Cat from Feline Hepatic Lipidiosis

Read More
Image for Most Dog Parents Have ZERO Clue About These Fatal Food Items
Most Dog Parents Have ZERO Clue About These Fatal Food Items

We've put together a comprehensive list below!

Read More
Image for Feline Hepatitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Feline Hepatitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Navigating the Complexities of Feline Hepatitis

Read More