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Canine Coronavirus (CCoV)

Updated: May 4, 2021

What is Canine coronavirus?


Canine coronavirus is a member of a virus group that causes illness in humans, cats, dogs, pigs and many other mammals. There are two groups of the virus:-

1. Group 1:-

a. Type I Canine coronavirus

b. Type II Canine coronavirus

2. Group 2:-

a. Canine respiratory coronavirus [1]

Canine coronavirus is worldwide in distribution.

What is Canine Coronavirus (CCoV) Disease?


Canine coronavirus disease is a highly infectious intestinal infection in dogs, especially puppies. There are many types of coronavirus, each affecting different animal species, including humans. Canine coronavirus (CCoV) is not the same virus as SARS-CoV-2 that causes the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Canine coronavirus (CCoV) does not affect people. CCoV causes gastrointestinal problems and associated with respiratory disease in dogs.

What is the significance of canine coronavirus?


Canine coronavirus causes highly contagious intestinal disease, generally mild diarrhoea while Canine respiratory coronavirus is one of the causal agents associated with kennel cough (Acute infectious tracheobronchitis).

Puppies less than 12 weeks old are most susceptible with a specific canine coronavirus type II strain being associated with severe systemic disease in puppies (CB/05).

Canine coronavirus is related to transmissible gastroenteritis virus in pigs, feline enteric coronavirus and feline infectious peritonitis virus. Many multiple antigenic variants of the virus have been identified. The canine coronavirus has also been identified to enhance feline infectious peritonitis disease in cats [2] [3].

How does Canine coronavirus survive?


Canine coronavirus is stable when frozen, and it is inactivated by heating at 56°C for 45 min. Ultraviolet light inactivates the virus when exposed to sunlight, and it is susceptible to desiccation. The virus is stable in acidic (pH 3) environment but inactivated by most detergents and disinfectants.

Canine coronavirus can survive in the environment for prolonged periods, lasting for 1-2 days at room temperature and survival is enhanced at cold temperatures [4].

What are the clinical effects canine coronavirus?


The virus replicates in dogs without clinical signs, with dogs shedding the virus for weeks or months post-infection. Inapparent or persistent infections maintain the virus.

The virus is highly contagious and is transmitted through the ingestion of faeces (faecal-oral transmission) or the ingestion of virus-contaminated material [5].

Re-infection is common and pre-existing immunity does not give adequate protection. The virus has an incubation period o 1-4 days. The virus infects cells of the duodenum and progresses through the small intestine. It then continues to spreads to abdominal lymph nodes, liver and spleen. Within 1-2 days of clinical disease, the virus is present in the faeces. In puppies, certain strains can spread systemically and cause severe illness. The virus is isolated from lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys.



Virus isolation from faeces and identification of the virus in serum is vital for confirmatory diagnosis. [6]

Control of Canine Coronavirus


Control via chemotherapies

  • Treatment is through rehydration and supply of electrolytes.

  • Administration of antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections.

Control via environment

  • Attention to hygiene.

  • Avoid poor management conditions, e.g. overcrowding or stress.

  • Isolate infected individuals.

Control via Vaccination

  • Inactivated vaccines available in some countries, e.g., the UK.

  • Inactivated and live attenuated vaccines available given two doses three weeks apart and annual boosters.



[1] K. Erles and J. Brownlie, "Canine respiratory coronavirus: an emerging pathogen in the canine infectious respiratory disease complex.," Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 815-25, viii. , July 2008.

[2] F. McArdle, M. Bennett, R. M. Gaskell, B. Tennant, D. F. Kelly and C. J. Gaskell, "Induction and enhancement of feline infectious peritonitis by canine coronavirus.," American Journal of Veterinary Research, vol. 53, no. 9, pp. 1500-6, September 1992.

[3] C. Haake, S. Cook, N. Pusterla and B. Murphy, "Coronavirus Infections in Companion Animals: Virology, Epidemiology, Clinical and Pathologic Features.," Viruses, vol. 12, no. 9, p. 1023, 2020.

[4] B. J. Tennant, R. M. Gaskell and C. J. Gaskell, "Studies on the survival of canine coronavirus under different environmental conditions.," Veterinary Microbiology, vol. 42, no. 2-3, pp. 255-9, November 1994.

[5] C. Buonavoglia, N. Decaro, V. Martella, G. Elia, M. Campolo, C. Desario, M. Castagnaro and M. Tempesta, "Canine coronavirus highly pathogenic for dogs.," Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 492-4, March 2006.

[6] B. J. Tennant, R. M. Gaskell, R. C. Jones and C. J. Gaskell, "Studies on the epizootiology of canine coronavirus.," The Veterinary Record, vol. 132, no. 1, pp. 7-11, 2 January 1993.

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