Rotavirus in Puppies

Pups with rotavirus might seem slightly more tired than usual.
Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Canine rotavirus is an infection that triggers intestinal inflammation. Rotavirus can affect dogs young and old but is especially prevalent in wee puppies and youthful adults. Diarrhea is a telling indication of the viral infection -- in puppies. Fully mature canines with rotavirus often do not experience symptoms at all.


This presence of virus usually doesn't bring upon much more than stomach upset in puppies, according to the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University. Although death from rotavirus is possible in small puppies, it is highly uncommon. Puppies who are past 12 weeks old generally do not show symptoms of canine rotavirus.

Symptoms of Rotavirus

Diarrhea is the main sign of canine rotavirus in wee puppies. If a puppy experiences soft and runny stools of medium intensity, rotavirus could be the cause. Apart from diarrhea, puppies with the virus might also be a little more exhausted than normal. They also might show decreased interest in eating meals, but not to an excessive degree. If your puppy shows signs of a possible case of rotavirus, take him to the veterinarian for a checkup immediately. Take note that your pet could indeed have rotavirus or he could have another medical condition entirely.


Dogs contract rotavirus when infected stool matter makes its way, somehow, into another canine's mouth. When the virus goes inside of a dog, it immediately makes its way to his digestive system, where it triggers the wasting away of the small intestine's villi. Once this happens, however, fresh cells swiftly take over for the damaged ones. This is why rotavirus symptoms typically don't last long in dogs.

Common Condition

Rotavirus is a highly common ailment within the canine world. The majority of mature pooches encounter it at some point in their lives, although they usually don't feel discomfort because of it.

Protection From Rotavirus

If you want to minimize your young puppy's risk of contracting rotavirus, make sure he doesn't venture out into public settings until he's a little older -- say somewhere between 15 and 20 weeks in age. At this point, puppies should also have all of their necessary shots that ward against other kinds of infections and diseases, as well.