Distemper in dogs


Distemper is a viral disease; the canine distemper virus (CDV) causes the disease, which affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, central nervous system in dogs. This disease not only affects the dogs, it also affects other animals such as coyotes, foxes, pandas, wolves, skunks, raccoons, and ferrets are also known for being very susceptible to the condition. It takes place in largewild cats, but domesticated cats cannot contract distemper.

Canine distemper is a viral disease, which comes from the paramyxovirus family, that causes measles in humans. This disease affects the important parts of the dog’s body. Such as respiratory, gastrointestinal tracts, spinal card and brain, urogenital system, nervous tissues, and the eyes. This disease is highly contagious, which can contract through inhalationand it easily spreads from one to another, rapidly; it leads to cause a 50% mortality rate.

Contracting the sickness

Canine distemper is one of the most contagious diseases, that easily spread from one dog to another, when it passes fluids or food from an infected dog. Because, dogs leave air droplets while breathing, using same food and serving same water, share dishes in such cases, dogs get infected. The virus is spreaded to unaffected dogs when the affected dog sniffs or eat the urine or feces of an affected dog and this leads to sickness. A fever will spread quickly after 3 to 6 days of initial contact, the affected symptoms are shown. Because, the infection may not take place after 14 to 18 days it shows before that. The multiple dogs get affected by this type of infection, mostly 3 to 6 months age puppies are affected a lot. These puppies are most likely to suffer from serious consequences, even it leads them to death. Even the pups which are seven weeks old would suffer extremely because, they are not vaccinated. Due to limited availability of vaccination, most of the dogs from various region have not vaccinated against the sickness. The dogs are not familiar with medical treatment or vaccination histories, such as rescue dogs which are purchased from the pet store are very susceptible to distemper.

Symptoms of distemper in dogs

The dog which are affected from canine distemper, shows a number of symptoms from their body. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Eye inflammation.
  • Water discharge from the nose or eye.
  • Excessive coughing.
  • Feeling difficult while breathing.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Lack or total loss appetite.
  • Lethargy.
  • Dehydration.
  • Incontinence.
  • Seizures.

The dogs have lifelong signs, which are affected from this disease. Some dogs condition are in critical position while others are not.

Lifelong and nonlife-threatening signs of distemper are hardening of the foot pads and corrosion to the enamel of the teeth. If the infection is still present in your dog, then it shows some signs such as hardening or thickening of the pads on the dog feet. It takes much time to cure a dog, which is affected from hard pad.

If it happens in puppies, it will kill the cells that are responsible for producing enamel on the dog’s teeth. This will mostly affect the gum line of teeth. The most life-threatening of the disease can be a deterioration of the mental capabilities, seizures, paralysis, and finally inability to coordinate their movements. The initial stage of this disease leads to deterioration of eyesight, if it is not treated, then it leads to blindness.

Diagnosing distemper

The most obvious sign of distemper causes fever, respiratory problems, neurological problem and thickened footpads. These symptoms can also be caused by canine hepatitis, herpes virus, parainfluenzaand leptospirosis, which challenges the doctor to cure the diagnosing distemper.

Even when a dog is vaccinated for distemper, it is difficult to diagnose. Especially, they have a complete vaccination for elder dogs.

The most common test for diagnosing distemper is known as a Diff-quick solution and next step is to brush the slide against the lining of the dog’s bladder. If any infected cells are found on this lining, it will turn the slide red to indicate that, whether the dog is infected with the disease or not.

Treating distemper

Sorry to say, there is no permanent treatment for distemper, but to ward off an infection that caused by distemper your vet will prefer you with antibiotics. If the infected pet gets dehydrated or showing sign of becoming seriously sick, then the intravenous fluids are recommended by the vet to keep them as hydrated and healthy.

Preventing distemper

Because distemper is a serious disease, which makes the infected pet consequences, prevention is the key to keep your dog healthy always. Providing up to date vaccination for an older dog is important to protect them from this infection, and distemper shot is available for them, whenever needed. If the puppy is six to eight years of age, then it is not the right age to vaccine them. The people those who have puppies are recommended to keep away from the infected dogsand don’t allow your pet to get infected.

Every dog owners should have in mind and make sure that the kennel, food bowls, and other items of your dogs are cleaned regularly, to prevent your pet from spreading infection (distemper).

Distemper is a very serious disease that caused by a virus and makes your pet consequences. If your dog gets affected, the question that arises next is how to prevent it? If your pet shows the warning sign and symptoms. Bring your vet as soon as possible to cure.


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