Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

The clinic provides a large variety of rapid serologic tests for diagnostics of many of the infectious diseases, elaborate schemes for treatment and prevention of these diseases. Important part of the fight against the infectious diseases is the regular vaccination.
The “Blue Cross” clinic has high success rate in the treatment of canine parvovirosis.


Canine distemper – this is a viral disease. The viruses are in great quantities in the secretions of the lungs and nasal mucosa, the infection is spread by aerosol, formed of these secretions, through coughing and sneezing. They can be delivered also through the placenta of the infected mother to the embryos in the uterus. The virus affects mainly dogs, but also foxes, wolves, ferrets, weasels.
The rate of distemper in dogs is greatest between 3 and 6 months of age, and also among the adult unvaccinated ones.
The first signs occur 7 to 10 days after the initial contact with the virus – inflammation of the eye conjunctiva, which can vary from increased secretion to purulent discharge. Few days later appear a dry cough that rapidly becomes moist, the dog is weak, starts to lose appetite, it is possible to vomit and have a diarrhea. Its condition worsens rapidly, the dog is dehydrated and as a result it can die suddenly within several hours. In this form of the disease particularly important is the fight with the secondary bacterial infections.
The neurologic manifestations usually begin 1 to 3 weeks after recovery from systemic illness; however, no way is known to predict which dogs will develop neurologic disorders. They may vary significantly depending on what part of the brain is affected and how rapidly the disease progresses – seizures, vestibular signs, paresis, paralysis, ataxia, contractions of separate muscles. The prognosis for such patients is bad.
When the virus passes through the placenta can lead to abortions, stillbirths or the birth of puppies with low immunity, which at 4 – 6 weeks of age develop neurologic disorders. The diagnosis is based on clinical signs and serologic tests finding in the specimens antibodies or the virus itself.
Prevention – vaccination once per year, in puppies this is done at 55 – 65 and 85 – 95 days of age.


Infectious hepatitis – viral disease. The recovered animals deliver the virus with the urine for 6 – 9 months. The disease affects dogs, foxes, wolves, bears.
The disease develops in unvaccinated adults and dogs younger than 1 year.
The virus reaches and damages the liver in 4 – 5 days after the initial infection, affects the kidneys too. The clinical signs are vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, high temperature /up to 41 C/, enlarged lymph nodes /in the region of the head and neck/, enlarged liver, ascites /accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity/ and hemorrhages. In 20% of the cases the eyes are affected too. At any time of the disease neurologic signs can occur – seizures, coma.
In extremely acute development of the disease the affected dogs die within a few hours after the onset of clinical signs.
Often the infectious hepatitis becomes chronic.
The diagnosis is based on clinical signs and blood lab tests: it is seen leucopenia, increase of the levels of the liver enzymes and bilirubin.
Prevention – vaccination once per year, in puppies this is done at 55 – 65 and 85 – 95 days of age.


Kennel cough – infectious tracheobronchitis. Causative agents – canine parainfluenza virus and B. bronchiseptica – bacterium. The clinical signs occur 5 to 10 days after the infection.
This is an acute, highly contagious respiratory infection, particularly typical for places where a lot of dogs are housed. It is transmitted through direct dog-to-dog close contact. The clinical signs appear suddenly. The disease is characterized by typical cough, which the owners usually mistake with vomiting.
The patients are in good physical condition. When the illness is not complicated by secondary bacterial infections /pneumonia/ the prognosis is excellent. After recovery the immunity is short-term /several months/. The infected dogs deliver the virus for 2 weeks, while the bacterium – several months.
Prevention – vaccination once per year.


Parvovirosis – the canine parvovirus is very stable and highly contagious, it is shed in the feces of the ill dogs and is easily transmitted with clothes, shoes, toys, by insects, rodents.
The disease is severe and usually with a fatal outcome. The incubation period /the period from the infection to the onset of the first clinical signs/ is 7 – 14 days. Most vulnerable are the puppies from 6 weeks until 6 months of age, especially sensitive are the following breeds: Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, Golden and Labrador retrievers, American Staffordshire terriers, German shepherds.
The parvovirus affects the rapidly dividing cells – the epithelial cells of the small intestines and myocardium /the cells that construct the heart – its muscle part/. The first signs are loss of appetite, listlessness, followed by diarrhea /usually with great quantity of blood/, vomiting.
If adequate supportive measures are not taken the affected animal is rapidly dehydrated and within 2 days from the onset of the first clinical signs may die. The secondary infections and resorbed through the compromised wall of the intestine toxins contribute considerably to the high mortality rate of this disease. When the myocardium is affected, the prognosis is bad, as the clinical signs may vary greatly – diarrhea, vomiting, cardiovascular signs and death: recovery from the enteritis and sudden death – weeks or months later.
The diagnosis of parvovirosis is made with rapid serologic tests.
Prevention – the unvaccinated puppies have to be isolated from contacts with the environment /walks, shoes, clothes/ and other animals until all the vaccines are given.
The vaccination schemes vary according to the environment in which the dogs are bred, their contact with other dogs, breed predisposition. After the vaccines are done, by making a rapid serologic test, it can be evaluated whether adequate immunity is produced.
The standard vaccine scheme is:
-First vaccination at 35-45 days of age
-Second vaccination at 55-65 days of age
-Third vaccination at 85-95 days of age
-Fourth vaccination at 6 months of age / extremely important for the predisposed breeds/
-Revaccinations annually


Coronavirosis – it has similar to the parvovirosis clinical signs, but they are less dramatic and the mortal cases are rare. The virus is shed in the feces of infected dogs. It attacks the cells of the small intestines, changing its structure and makes them incapable to carry out their functions, doesn’t destroy them as the parvovirus does. The disease can be mixed – parvovirosis and coronavirosis. Secondary bacterial infections are not excluded too.
The clinical signs vary - loss of appetite, listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea /sometimes bloody/. If there are no secondary complications most of the dogs recover within several days.
Diagnosis – rapid serologic test


Panleukopenia – the feline parvovirus is extremely stable in the environment, it is shed in the feces of the ill cats. The disease is transmitted via clothes, cages, shoes, insects. Owners who lose a kitten to feline panleukopenia should not introduce a new kitten into the household without having it vaccinated.
The virus affects the lymphoid tissue, bone marrow and the cells of the intestinal mucosa, but when the infection is transmitted through the placenta the central nervous system can be affected. The clinical signs vary - loss of appetite, listlessness, diarrhea /from profuse to bloody/, severe decrease in the number of the white blood cells, subnormal body temperature. Early in utero infection can produce early fetal death and resorption with infertility, abortions, or the birth of mummified fetuses, later in the end of gestation – the live kittens are with varying degrees of damage to the central nervous system. Most severely affected are the unvaccinated kittens at 3 – 5 months of age. In the acute form of the disease the ill kittens may die within 12 hours from the onset of the first clinical signs.
The disease is diagnosed upon a rapid serologic test and clinical signs.
Prevention – vaccination, as the standard scheme is:
-First vaccination at 8 – 9 weeks of age
-Second vaccination at 12 – 13 weeks of age
-Revaccinations annually