December 21, 2011
This week a Florida Sportsman Member reminds us of a little-known but persistent virus that is sometimes passed from wild hogs to other animals—including, in this case, hunting dogs.
“A buddy of mine I hunt with had his two best dogs die a few days ago. One died at his camp and the other got sick and he had to put it down. He had no clue what they had,” reported Skunk Ape on the General Hunting Forum.
A veterinarian determined the dogs had contracted psuedorabies virus, or PRV. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, PRV is a naturally-occurring herpes-type virus which may be present in about half of the feral swine in Florida. Cases have been documented for 150 years.
Dogs and certain other mammals (but not humans, fortunately) may contract PRV through contact with an infected hog's bodily fluids or after consuming the flesh of an infected hog. (Good reason to never feed raw hog meat to your dogs.) Not all hogs which carry PRV are infectious at any given time, but if a dog happens to acquire the virus, it's always fatal. Vaccines exist for domestic swine, but not dogs.
For a good Q&A about PRV, click here.
To view the recent thread on the General Hunting Forum, click here.
While humans are apparently immune to PRV (there've been no reported cases of human infection, according to the FWC), we should take precautions to avoid contracting swine brucellosis. A link to information on this disease is provided in the PRV Q&A.