Aujeszky’s Disease In Dogs
Jake waiting for his test results
The trip to the vet wore my little guy out. He slept for an hour but is doing good.
Clinical signs – Respiratory infection is usually asymptomatic in pigs more than 2 months old, but it can cause abortion, high mortality in piglets, and coughing, sneezing, fever, constipation, depression, seizures, ataxia, circling, and excess salivation in piglets and mature pigs.
In addition to the risk of physical injury, dogs can be exposed to many diseasepathogens carried by feral swine. One of the most dangerous diseases that can be transmitted by feral swine to dogs is pseudorabies (also known as “mad itch” or Aujeszky’s disease) because it is often fatal to dogs.
Aujeszky’s disease is usually spread by nose-to-nose contact with an infected pig (direct contact), but aerosol transmission through respiratory secretions can also occur. The virus can be spread on fomites (objects in contact with infected animals or their environment) or in the carcasses of infected pigs. Sexual transmission is possible as is transfer from sow to piglet during pregnancy.
Other animal species can also be infected with Aujeszky’s disease virus after contact with infected pigs or from eating infected pork.
Disease may vary depending on the age and species of animal affected; younger animals are the most severely affected. Piglets usually have a fever, stop eating, and show neurological signs (seizures, paralysis), and often die within 24-36 hours. Older pigs may show similar symptoms, but often have respiratory signs (coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing) and vomiting, are less likely to die and generally recover in 5-10 days. Pregnant sows can abort or give birth to weak, trembling piglets. Feral pigs do not usually show any signs of disease.
Other animals usually die within a few days of exposure. The animal will have intense itchiness concentrated in a patch of skin and will lick, rub or chew at the ‘itchy spot’. Animals become weak, may be unable to stand, have convulsions and difficulty breathing and die. Dogs and cats can have difficulty swallowing and excessive drooling.
What to Watch For
Signs of pseudorabies in dogs:
This disease progresses rapidly, and death usually occurs within 48 hours.
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