Can Dogs Get Herpes?

Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Becky Roberts

If you’ve been a pet parent for quite some time now, then you’re already well aware that your dogs can sometimes get the occasional virus. The sad reality is that no matter how we take care of our four-legged friends, such unfortunate instances do occur.

Ever since they were puppies, you managed to treat them well and provide for whatever they need. But what do you do when a disease or a virus comes their way? Are you aware of the basic treatment procedures? Are you willing to put your pooch at risk? Do you know what to do in case of a detected infection?

Now I can almost hear you thinking, “how do I become a responsible pet parent?”

I’m glad you asked!

In this feature, we are going to tackle one specific question: can dogs get herpes?

Let’s get right into it!

Dog sleeping on the floor

What Is Herpes?

Herpes is a common infection that causes sores on your genitals and/or mouth. For humans, it is commonly transferred or spread via skin-to-skin contact with the infected areas, which often occurs during vaginal sex, oral sex, anal sex, and even kissing. There are two types of known herpes: genital and oral. On the lighter side, the herpes virus doesn’t survive too long outside your body, so you won’t get it from hugging or even holding hands.

Can Dogs Get Herpes?

The simplest answer is yes.

The canine herpes virus (CHV), or also known as the “fading puppy syndrome” is an infection that commonly infects the reproductive organs of adult dogs. One bummer though, is that CHV in adult dogs usually do not have any sort of symptoms whatsoever. For newborn puppies, however, the case is different, as CHV is the leading cause of death for them.

Symptoms Of Herpes In Dogs

When you suspect your puppies to be having herpes, some of the symptoms you want to be looking out for are weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, soft, yellow or green feces, nasal discharge, crying, and even nose bleeds or small bruises. For dogs, however, you may have a tougher time as there are no common symptoms to indicate that they have the infection.

How Can I Treat My Dog’s Herpes?

Once diagnosed, it’s highly recommended that you start their treatment right away. Although it’s helpful to know that most treatments are generally unsuccessful, and puppies usually die before medical attention can be brought to them. Antibiotics and pain relievers are common choices, but they are still ineffective nonetheless.

The Wrap Up: Preventing Herpes

One of the most efficient ways in preventing herpes is to have your pet avoid infected dogs. Good hygiene is also a great practice to help avoid the said infection. Proper diet, exercise, and training is also a sure-fire way to help lessen the risk of your pet having herpes.

When you start to notice clinical signs of the said disease, it’s always best to visit your trusted veterinarian right away. After all, improve your pet’s quality of life is always a good idea to make sure they live their best life possible.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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