Canine Coronavirus Isn’t Same Infection as Human COVID-19

by Gigi McWhirter

For those of you who have your dogs vaccinated, you have probably noticed the letters DHLPP/CV on your pet’s records. These initials all represent a disease your pet is receiving a vaccination for to help protect it from disease. 

Here is a breakdown of the initials:

D – Distemper
H – Hepatitis
L – Leptospirosis
P – Parvovirus
P – Pneumonitis
CV – Coronavirus

We, at the animal hospital where I work, have received several inquiries about the coronavirus being spread from humans to animals or vice-versa. Because of this, we will focus on the canine version of coronavirus and not the other parts of the vaccine.

Coronavirus is an infectious disease in canines, especially puppies. The usually short-lived virus can cause a lot of abdominal discomfort in dogs who have contracted the virus. 

The virus is part of the “Coronaviridae” family that gets its name, because when it is seen under an electron microscope, the virus has a circle of projections that look like a small crown with ornaments sitting on it. 

There are different coronaviruses that can infect birds and other animals. The dog version does not infect humans.

Dogs typically contract the virus through oral contact with fecal matter, eating from a contaminated bowl or from an infected dog. 

Diarrhea is a symptom of coronavirus and can be confused with parvo. Sometimes they occur at the same time. Call your pet’s veterinarian if your dog has diarrhea or loose stools for more than 24 hours and becomes lethargic or not interested in eating.

After you have finished “poop patrol” make sure to thoroughly wash your hands. A fun way to make sure you have washed your hands long enough is to sing either the “Happy Birthday” or “ABC’s” song twice. 

If you suspect or if your dog has been diagnosed with the corona or parvo, you must disinfect anywhere they may have defecated or where the dog has been. You may use a simple solution of 1-part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water and spray it on those areas. Be careful using this solution on fabrics so as not to damage the material. 

It is currently believed that dogs and cats are not carriers of the human COVID-19 virus, although some think that there is a remote possibility of contracting it from a pet if an infected person touched that pet and the virus stayed on the fur. This has not been proven. 

If you suspect that you may have the human version of the coronavirus, please contact your physician immediately. Remember to wash your hands, do not touch your face and please, no butt-sniffing! 

If you have any more questions about this topic, ask a veterinarian, NOT Dr. Google. 

Happy Tails!