Canine Adenovirus 2

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Also known as: Infectious Canine Laryngotracheitis — CAV-2


Adenovirus pneumonia (Image sourced from Bristol Biomed Image Archive with permission)

Both Canine Adenovirus 1 and Canine Adenovirus 2 are of the Adenoviridae and are now rare in the UK. There is some antigenicty shared between the two strains, which lends itself to vaccination.

Infection spreads rapidly between unvaccinated dogs, especially if they are in groups e.g. in kennels. Transmission is by direct and indirect contact such as food bowls and bedding (fomites) and respiratory secretions.

The virus replicates in the oropharynx then causes necrosis of the respiratory tract with NO concurrent hepatitis. Lung lesions may be worsened by presence of Bordetella bronchiseptica and Pasteurella multocida. It is thought that this virus may be a predisposing factor to the development of kennel cough. It may also cause necrotising bronchiolitis in immunodeficient dogs.


Dogs of any age, breed or sex will be equally affected by this virus if not vaccinated.

Clinical Signs

Animals present with pyrexia, mild depression, nasal/ocular discharges and a dry, harsh, persistent cough. Corneal opacity is sometimes seen.


Virus can be isolated from respiratory secretions early in the disease.


There is usually evidence of mild bronchointerstitial pneumonia, necrosis of bronchiolar and alveolar epithelium, oedema and type II pneumocyte hyperplasia.


It is important to isolate coughing dogs and disinfect premises, in any cases of coughing as all respiratory disease is contagious.

CAV-2 is largely controlled in the UK along with CAV-1 (infectious canine hepatitis virus) through the use of vaccination against CAV-1. As the viruses cross-protect, immunity is achieved from vaccinating against CAV-1.


Blood, D.C. and Studdert, V. P. (1999) Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary (2nd Edition) Elsevier Science

Bridger, J and Russell, P (2007) Virology Study Guide, Royal Veterinary College

Merck & Co (2008) The Merck Veterinary Manual (Eighth Edition) Merial

Nelson, R.W. and Couto, C.G. (2009) Small Animal Internal Medicine (Fourth Edition) Mosby Elsevier

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