Canine Herpes Virus

dog in english field


Canine herpes virus (CHV) is a serious and often fatal viral disease in puppies. In adult dogs, it can cause eye disease, an upper respiratory infection, and inflammation in the vagina or foreskin of the penis.

In adult dogs, canine herpes is considered a reproductive health problem rather than a lung problem, as it is in puppies.

Pregnant dogs that develop canine herpes in the last few weeks of a pregnancy can experience stillbirth. They can also pass herpes to the litter before or during birth. Dog herpes is serious for puppies and can result in death and litter loss.

How Canine Herpes Virus Is Transmitted

Your dog can get canine herpes virus from direct contact with the nose, mouth, or vaginal fluids from a dog that has the virus. Sexual contact between dogs can cause transmission. It can also transfer through normal licking, sniffing, and nosing.

Canine herpes in puppies is also transmitted through direct contact with fluids. Puppies born to an infected mother can get the disease while in the womb or after birth from the mother’s vaginal, nose, or mouth fluids. The virus can affect the whole litter or just one puppy.

Symptoms of Canine Herpes in Adult Dogs

Most adult dogs do not have any symptoms or may have only mild symptoms from herpes. It is often not as serious in adult dogs.

Symptoms include:

  • Eye discharge                          Inflamed penis foreskin          Vaginal discharge
  • Genital sores                            Eye inflammation                    Abortion
  • Stillbirth                                   Coughing                                  Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge