Canine Adenovirus type I (Hepatitis)

Canine Adenovirus type I causes infection of the tonsils. It then travels to the kidneys and liver. This virus is responsible for canine hepatitis and is spread by bodily fluids, urine, and feces.


Fever, lethargy, sore throat, coughing, abdominal distension and pain, loss of appetite, pale color, and vomiting. The clear area of the eye, the cornea, may appear cloudy and bluish.


The virus is shed into the body fluids, feces, and urine. Dogs become infected through the nose and mouth, from contact with infected body fluids, feces, and urine often in direct contact with an infected animal. Recovered dogs can still shed virus in the urine for up to nine months. Type I is not airborne.


Canine Adenovirus causes canine hepatitis. The virus first attacks the tonsils where it spends an incubation period of 4 to 7 days and creates susceptibility in the throat for other infections. It then travels the blood stream where it can affect many organs but mainly the kidneys and liver, and causes swelling and cell damage and sometimes bleeding of the liver.


Severe cases, especially in puppies, death can occur in the first two days, sometimes within two hours after symptoms appear. If a dog can manage to survive the first few days of the illness he should recover with lifelong immunity. Canine Adenovirus also makes the tonsils and throat susceptible to other infections which may become deadly.


There is no cure for Canine Adenovirus. Supportive treatment is helpful in preventing the dog from acquiring additional infection and to help him get through the first few days.


There is vaccination for both type I and type II Canine Adenovirus. Both types are similar so it is thought that vaccination for either type will provide protection from both. Keep the healthy dog away from dogs with questionable health away from areas they inhabit. The area healthy dogs inhabit should be protected from roaming stray and wild animals. When at the veterinarian, dogs should not be allowed to sniff or lick anything and puppies should be held by their owners the entire time, not allowed to come into contact with anything.

Danger to Humans:

Canine Adenovirus is currently specific to Canines.

Danger to Other Animals:

Canine Adenovirus is currently specific to Canines.