Canine herpes virus (CHV-1) is a virus that has been largely forgotten for many years, due in part to the difficulty in making a definitive diagnosis.


However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the virus causes many more problems than was first thought.

Like all herpes viruses, CHV is highly infectious, and a recent study showed that more than 80% of the dogs tested had been exposed to the virus at some time in their lives. Other studies have shown infection rates of 40-100% in kennels around Europe.

In kennels not previously exposed to the virus, CHV can cause massive losses, sometimes of entire litters. Death occurs in the first few days and weeks of life, with the classic pathological changes described in Diagnosis.

choco lite

Once the virus becomes established in kennels, periods of high mortality are interspersed with a general fall in the average birth weight of the litter, and increased pre-weaning losses.

In kennels with long-established disease the breeder may well have become accustomed to the poor results, and the existence of a problem only becomes apparent once a vaccination programme is put in place.


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counter last published: 14th November 2005 [©] back to top