Canine herpes virus (CHV-1) is a virus that has been largely ignored for many years. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the virus causes many more problems than was first thought. Like all herpes viruses, CHV is highly infectious, and a recent study showed that more than 80% of dogs in England have been exposed to the virus at some time in their lives. For most dogs CHV is not thought to cause any significant problem and so for a long time is has largely been ignored by both breeders and vets. However, it is now clear that CHV can be a significant cause of death in young puppies, and also smaller litter size and weight. Canine Herpes Virus cannot only be found in adult female dogs but in male dogs too. in the dog, CHV can cause painful lesions on the genitals.
In the bitch, there may not be any external signs, but the bitch seems infertile or gives birth to undersize and weak litters. Research indicates that humans may experience ulcers, stomach pain, and stomach ulcers because of infection with Helicobacter species. There is no cure for an animal that has CHV – infection is probably lifelong and can flare up repeatedly during periods of stress. Antiviral drugs do not appear to be effective and are very expensive. Common canine bacteria can result in overwhelming septicaemia and death in a very short time in a neonatal puppy. The vaccine, Eurican® Herpes 205, cannot prevent infection but if given during pregnancy it has been shown to significantly improve fertility rates and reduce early puppy death. Even bitches that already have the virus can be vaccinated.
She has come a long way and every day she is making progress!