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Canine coronavirus is a virus of the family Coronaviridae that causes a highly contagious intestinal disease in dogs. The virus invades and replicates in the villi of the small intestine. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and anorexia, but most cases are very mild or without symptoms. The disease is spread through the feces of infected dogs, who shed the virus for more than two weeks following infection. The incubation period is only one to three days. Diagnosis is through detection of virus particles in the feces. Treatment usually only requires medication for diarrhea, but more severely affected dogs may require intravenous fluids for dehydration. Fatalities are rare. The virus is destroyed by most available disinfectants. There is a vaccine available, and it is usually given to puppies, who are more susceptible to canine coronavirus, and dogs that have a high risk of exposure, such as show dogs.
A more serious complication of canine coronavirus occurs when the dog is also infected with canine parvovirus. Coronavirus infection of the intestinal villi makes the cells more susceptible to parvovirus infection. This causes a much more severe disease than either virus separately can.
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