Dogs Don’t Get Hepatitis From People

Vaccination prevents canine hepatitis from spreading dog to dog.


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Q. Can dogs be infected with hepatitis from the human form of the virus? Or is it passed dog to dog? Do you recommend the vaccine for dogs?

A. There is no risk of transmission of hepatitis between dogs and people. The form that dogs can get is completely different from the human version (Hepatitis B or C). Fortunately, canine viral hepatitis has largely been eliminated due to excellent vaccination coverage and the stability of the organism involved. It does not mutate the way canine parvovirus does, or for example, human influenza virus does.
Reports of any cases of viral hepatitis in dogs are rare. For these reasons, it is not considered a significant risk for transmission between dogs.
The vaccine for infectious canine hepatitis is included in almost every core combination vaccine given to dogs, and it is recommended for all dogs as a puppy vaccine that is repeated as several boosters, then as an annual vaccine. Some veterinarians are giving this vaccine on a three-year schedule in adult dogs to minimize the risk of vaccination reactions.
Dogs can get other forms of hepatitis, such as a bacterial infection, but these respond to antibiotic treatment and are not contagious.

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Patricia DeRocco   Bayonne, New Jersey

12/5/2013 8:00:50 AM

My brown lab of 9 years came down with hepitatis and I also have 2 yellow labs who now I am worried about getting sick.They use the same bowls to drink and eat their food. I also was afraid that my children would catch this from our pet. I have been going crazy worrying and cleaning and washing everything that Coco has touched.

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

5/7/2013 3:39:13 AM

Interesting, should a regular liver tests be part of a healthy dog check up?

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mike judge   ashford, Washington

2/15/2013 3:05:38 PM

thanks, felt terrible when vet told me my yellow lab had liver disease

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Lawdog   Home, WA

4/17/2010 8:48:58 AM

Thanks for the info. I have a narcotics canine and he stuck his foot witha needle during a search warrant. The suspect has hep c. Have been really concerned. Didn't ask my vet about it. Stress off my back. Much relieved.

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