Oliver Organista, LA



Canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV) is a highly contagious that cause respiratory disease and is one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough [1]. It also known as canine influenza virus, greyhound disease and race flu. It is endemic worldwide and belong to the family Paramyxoviridae and first isolated together with other pathogens (Table 1) from laboratory dogs with respiratory disease [2].

The Paramyxoviridae is a family of single-stranded RNA viruses known to cause different types of infections in vertebrates.


CPIV is excreted from the respiratory tract of infected animals for up to 2 weeks after infection and is usually transmitted through the air (aerosol) and fomites [1,7]. The virus replicates in the nasal mucosa, the pharynx, the trachea and the bronchi, inducing moderate lesions and petechial hemorrhages in the lungs [3]. The virus spreads rapidly in kennels or shelters where large numbers of dogs are kept together [4].

The incubation period for CPIV is 3 to 10 days after infection, and viral shedding typically occurs 6 to 8 days after infection [7]. Because dogs with CPIV can be asymptomatic, they may shed virus without showing clinical signs.

Before the development of CPIV vaccines, CPIV could be isolated from up to 50% of dogs with respiratory disease in group housing situations [8].



Symptoms of CPIV resemble canine influenza but it is a very different virus requiring different treatments and vaccinations.  The symptoms of canine parainfluenza can vary depending on the dog’s age and any weakened immunity due to age or an existing illness. Some or all the following signs may be exhibited: Persistent cough, fever, nasal discharge, sneezing, eye inflammation, lethargy, loss of appetite [1,4,6,9].



Diagnosis of CPIV can be done based on the dog’s medical history, clinical signs, vaccination history and physical exam. If a specific diagnosis of canine parainfluenza is needed, ocular and oral swabs can be submitted to the lab for PCR testing to confirm the presence of CPIV [5,6].



Dogs that come from shelters, rescue centers, breeding kennels, or pet stores

Boarding at a kennel or doggie daycare

Visiting groomers, dog parks, or engaging with other dogs on a daily basis

Dogs that participate in events/competitions



Some dogs may recover from the virus without medication but generally, antibiotics (like cephalosporins, quinolones, chloramphenicol and tetracycline) [16] will be given to treat any secondary bacterial infection and antiviral medication to suppress the virus. If a dog is suffering with a very dry and painful cough, cough suppressants and painkillers are likely to be given, as persistent coughing over a long period of time can cause scarring of the lung tissue and long-term problems.



CPIV vaccination is considered noncore (only advised in animals at risk) and is advised to be started in puppies between 6 and 8 weeks of age [10,11]. If a parenteral vaccine is used, it should be given every 2 to 4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old [10,12]


[1]  Ford R. Canine infectious tracheobronchitis. In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier; 2006:55

[2] Day, M.J.; Carey, S.; Clercx, C.; Kohn, B.; MarsilIo, F.; Thiry, E.; Freyburger, L.; Schulz, B.; Walker, D.J. Aetiology of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex and Prevalence of its Pathogens in Europe. J. Comp. Pathol. 2020, 176, 86–108.

[3] Greene, C.E. Nonrespiratory Paramyxovirus Infections of Dogs. In Infectious Disease of the Dog and Cat, 4th ed.; Elsevier/Saunders: St. Louis, MO, USA, 2012; Chapter 7, p. 6

[4]  Buonavoglia C, Martella V. Canine respiratory viruses. Vet Res. 2007;38:355–373.

[5] Canine Parainfluenza Virus, Town Center Veterinary Hospital, htttp://www.towncentrevet.ca/

[6] Cordisco M, Lucente MS, Sposato A, Cardone R, Pellegrini F, Franchini D, Di Bello A, Ciccarelli S. Canine Parainfluenza Virus Infection in a Dog with Acute Respiratory Disease. Vet Sci. 2022 Jul 9;9(7):346. doi: 10.3390/vetsci9070346. PMID: 35878363; PMCID: PMC9320280.

[7] Sykes JE. Canine viral respiratory infections. In: Sykes JE, ed. Canine and Feline Infectious Diseases. St. Louis, MO: W.B. Saunders; 2014:170-181.

[] McCandlish I, Thompson H, Cornwell H, Wright NG. A study of dogs with kennel cough. Vet Rec. 1978;102(14):293-301. doi: 10.1136/vr.102.14.293

[9] Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPIV), Home Health UK, https://homehealth-uk.com/

[10] Day MJ, Horzinek MC, Shultz RD, et al. WSAVA guidelines for the vaccination of dogs and cats. J Small Anim Pract. 2016;57(1):1-45. doi: 10.1111/jsap.13125

[11] Ford RB, Larson LJ, McClure KD, et al. 2017 AAHA canine vaccination guidelines. JAAHA. 2017;53(5):243-251. doi: 10.5326/JAAHA-MS-6741

[12] Ellis JA, Krakowa GS, Dayton AD, Konoby C. Comparative efficacy of an injectable vaccine and an intranasal vaccine in stimulating Bordetella bronchiseptica-reactive antibody responses in seropositive dogs. JAVMA. 2002;220(1):43-48. doi: 10.2460/javma.2002.220.43

[13] Decaro N, Mari V, Larocca V, et al. Molecular surveillance of traditional and emerging pathogens associated with canine infectious respiratory disease. Vet Microbiol. 2016;192:21-25. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2016.06.009

[14] Reagan KL, Skyes JE. Canine infectious respiratory disease. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2020;50(2):405-418. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2019.10.009

[15] Maboni G, Seguel M, Lorton A, et al. Canine infectious respiratory disease: New insights into the etiology and epidemiology of associated pathogens. PLoS One. 2019;14(4):e0215817. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215817

[16] Parainfluenza Virus Infection in Dogs, https://wagwalking.com/condition/parainfluenza-virus-infection

Table 1: https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/04/TVP_MayJune21_Parainfluenza_Table1.jpg

Table 2 : https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/04/TVP_MayJune21_Parainfluenza_Table2.jpg