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Looking for information on your pets and the current COVID-19 pandemic? View our other articles:

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Canine Coronavirus

Coronavirus is a viral infection of the intestines. It is usually not fatal, but your dog will have abdominal distress for a few days.


An infected dog can spread the virus through its saliva and feces.

Puppies and dogs living in crowded, unsanitary places are more prone to this virus.


The most common sign of coronavirus is sudden diarrhea. It will be watery, orange in color, and have a bad odor.

Other signs may include extreme lethargy and loss of appetite

It is common for dogs that have coronavirus to have parvovirus as well. This will cause the signs to be more severe and may include fever and vomiting.


Your veterinarian may perform some of the following tests:

  • Fecal Antigen Test: Tests a fecal sample to check for parvovirus
  • Fecal Floatation: Tests a fecal sample by placing it in a solution. Feces will sink and any parasites will float
  • Radiographs: Checks for blockages in the intestines, which can cause diarrhea
  • CBC (Complete Blood Count):  Measures the amount of red and white blood cells to check the function of different organs


Treatment will be more successful if your dog receives medical attention immediately. If you notice your dog has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, visit your veterinarian immediately.

They will probably recommend withholding food from your dog for 24 hours after diarrhea stops, and then gradually feed it in small amounts over time.

Antibiotics cannot treat viruses, so there are no medications to directly treat coronavirus. However, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to treat symptoms and IV fluids for dehydrated pets.


Follow your veterinarian's recommended vaccination schedule to prevent coronavirus.


Generally, coronavirus is not fatal, and pets recover with proper treatment.

Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM

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