Canine Herpesvirus (CHV)

A Lacy family experienced the joys of their first litter. Then suddenly, the runt of the litter failed to thrive and died. Unfortunately, this does happen when breeding, so they did not think anything out of the ordinary. Then a 2nd pup suddenly stopped thriving and passed away, red flags started flying and the rest of the litter was carefully monitored. Then a third puppy started showing signs and bloody stools. The family took the puppy to an emergency clinic and found it had Canine Herpesvirus (CHV) and expected it to die as well. There was nothing the clinic could do and they sent them home. Fortunately, his aunt has bred bulldogs for 25+ years and when he called, she indicated that this virus is more prevalent now than ever. However, she had a solution. The remaining pups are receiving the below remedy and appear to be thriving. Check out the video in the post, this is them nursing after being given their 4 drops.

The Lacy owner is also removing the pups from their dam and keeping them in a Tupperware box keeping the tub 95 to 98 degrees working to keep their body temperatures up.

This is an OLD remedy, but it seems to work wonders!

Take a large piece of beef liver, add a little water, and boil slowly for about 5 minutes, until the blood comes out. Let cool, drain the liquid and put just 4 drops (no matter the breed) into a dropper and give to the puppy.

Every 2 hours, give 4 drops for the first 12 hours. Every 4 hours after the first 12. Continue every 4 hours until the puppy thrives.

Liver itself is too rich to use, so do not use it. Make sure you only provide drops from the liquid you made.

This is what the puppies look like nursing after receiving the Remedy…

Pups suckling energy after Remedy drops given

These 3 remaining puppies from 25-Jul to 2-Aug have experienced the below weight changes and are now doing very well.
White Toes -10 grams from birthweight to +74 grams
Little Guy -12 grams from birthweight to +50 grams
Big Boy -6 grams from birthweight to +72 grams

As we had not heard much about this or experienced it, we researched.

What is Canine Herpesvirus?

We found out that CHV only occurs in domestic dogs and wild canids like foxes and coyotes. Surveys have found that anywhere from 15% to 100% infection rate is possible depending on where you live and proximity to other dogs. We learned that CHV can be spread through contact with contaminated objects or even through the air. However, it is most commonly transmitted through the nose and mouth. In addition, we found that CHV, sometimes called “Fading Puppy Syndrome,” can be fatal to a litter because it can be transmitted from mother to puppy in utero or through nursing. It is a necessity to take preventative measures to protect a litter from this virus. These measures include proper sanitation and isolation of the mother and puppies.

Puppies that are exposed to CHV in utero or through postnatal contact with infected older dogs, can have a serious reaction to the virus. It can cause spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, and high mortality rates for puppies just 3 weeks old and younger. As the puppies age, their body’s natural defenses will strengthen and their ability to fight the virus will improve. Once the puppy reaches 6 months old, they rarely succumb to the virus. However, Herpesviruses also travel to the nerve cells where they can “camouflage” themselves, lying dormant and causing infection in times of stress. Dogs can then shed the virus intermittently throughout their lives.

If a dam has been exposed to CHV at least three weeks before whelping, has developed immunity to it, and is no longer showing any signs, her puppies will become passively immune to CHV by nursing from her. Puppies must ingest adequate amounts of their dam’s first milk to acquire passive immunity. But puppies that nurse from dams showing signs of CHV, or dams who have not been exposed to CHV, are still at risk if they are then exposed to the virus. That exposure could come from their dam, other dogs, human hands, or other objects that have recently been in contact with a dog with the virus.

Adult CHV

Adult dogs infected with the canine herpes virus (CHV) may not show any obvious symptoms but can still pass the virus on to other dogs through direct contact or through bodily fluids. The virus typically affects the eyes, causing inflammation of the eyelids, redness of the conjunctiva, and corneal lesions. It also causes eye discharge that starts as tears and can become thick, mucus-like, or even bloody. CHV can also lead to reproductive issues, such as abortions or stillbirths. It is imperative to get a diagnosis from a vet if your dog exhibits any of these symptoms. Although CHV often resolves on its own, it can recur in some cases.

Is there a vaccine for the canine herpesvirus?

Unfortunately, there is no commercially available vaccine in the United States. Good hygiene, isolation of pregnant dogs prior to birth and then isolation of the mom and litter for the first several weeks of life, and a warm and clean puppy environment are precautions you can take to minimize the chances of your puppy getting sick. Fortunately, most household disinfectants kill the virus. Vaccines are designed to boost a dog’s immune system to help it fight off the virus, but since there is no available vaccine, other preventive measures must be taken. Good hygiene and isolation of the puppies and their mother can help to reduce the chances of infection, and most household disinfectants can be used to kill the virus.

Hope this information is helpful and provides enough information to keep you aware of the virus and a possible solution to “Fading Puppy Syndrome”. We do not know for sure this above remedy will help ALL puppies, but it appears to have allowed these 3 pups to thrive.

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