Canine Distemper 

Canine Distemper 

Unfortunately, there are a several bacterial and viral illness that can make your dog very ill.  The good thing is that these diseases are prevented by the annual vaccinations that are recommended by your Veterinarian.  Canine distemper is known as paramyxovirus which starts out as a respiratory illness but will spread to other parts of the body and cause neurological and gastrointestinal problems.  Throughout this article we will explain how canine distemper is spread, some of the symptoms involves, treatment, and prevention.

Oddly enough, distemper is primarily spread through aerosolized droplets from the nose of an infected dog.  Being in direct contact with nasal secretions can result in the transmission of the illness.  The bad thing is that an infected dog can shed these viral particles for many months, but on the other hand, the virus does not survive on surfaces for that long.

The distemper virus can cause many symptoms such as:

– yellow eye discharge

– lethargy

– vomiting

– diarrhea

– nasal discharge

– seizures

– muscle twitching

– head tilts

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the distemper virus.  The dogs who are infected are treated with supportive care based on their clinical signs.  Your veterinarian will recommend intravenous fluid therapy along with antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections.  The best way to prevent distemper is to ensure that your dog is vaccinated.  Puppies should receive their first vaccine around six to eight weeks of age.  Adult dogs should receive a distemper vaccination annually.

Canine distemper is serious.  It can cause multisystemic health issues and may be deadly if left untreated.  Since there is no cure for distemper, we recommend treatment on a supportive basis.  Always ensure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date as it could save their lives in the long run.