Disease picture hepatitis contagiosa canis (Hcc)

Disease picture infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough)
Canine parvovirus disease

Disease picture hepatitis contagiosa canis (Hcc)


Canine contagious hepatitis (Hcc), also known as fox encephalitis or Infectious canine hepatitis (ICH), is a febrile illness in dogs with a focus on the liver.

Disease origin and development

The pathogen is spread over a long period of time with the secretions and excreta of clinically inapparent (symptomless disease) dogs. If the virus is then ingested orally, it spreads from the throat to all organs (early stage). In the liver, the pathogen gets into the Kupffer’s stellate cells (star-shaped phagocytes of the liver) and multiplies there and then destroys your host cell. Finally, they migrate to the liver cells to reproduce again. This leads to the destruction of the liver cells in the further course.

Clinical picture – symptoms

Dogs of all ages can get sick. It is noticeable, however, that young dogs are more susceptible and the disease leads to death more quickly. In older dogs, the disease is usually symptom-free. The incubation period is 2 to 5 days. This is followed by fever, loss of appetite, severe thirst, apathy, abdominal pain and bleeding.


The prognosis for puppies is unfavorable – death occurs after 12 to 36 hours. The older the dog and the more delayed the course, the more favorable the prognosis. If your dog has any of the above symptoms, see a veterinarian immediately!


The best protection against contagious liver inflammation is vaccination. The basic immunization should take place from the eighth week of life. Thereafter, vaccination against Hcc is carried out once every three years (combination vaccination together with rabies, parvovirus and distemper).

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BabesiosisBorreliosisCanine parvovirusHepatitis contagiosa canisInfectious tracheobronchitisLeishmaniasis LeptospirosisPseudo angerDaupeRabies