Canine Distemper: Causes, Signs, and Treatment
Distemper might sound okay to you if you’re a new pet owner because you’re not likely to be familiar with the word. However, it indicates a significant problem that requires prompt attention for individuals with more experience. Canine distemper is among the most harmful diseases that your dog could get. However, it is preventable. Following are the details on distemper that every dog owner needs to know, including its causes, symptoms, treatments, and strategies to avoid it.
What Is Canine Distemper?
You should be familiar with canine distemper if your dog has had all of his vaccinations. Veterinarians consider the distemper vaccine a core immunization. This infection is contagious and may be lethal, and dogs, ferrets, and diseased wildlife, including foxes, wolves, raccoons, skunks, and coyotes, are frequently exposed to it.
The paramyxovirus, which also causes measles and rinderpest, causes canine distemper. It affects the dog’s bodily functions, causing a severe illness that is difficult to treat.
How is Canine Distemper Spread?
The disease spreads in dogs through direct contact between a vulnerable dog and a dog displaying symptoms. The virus can travel short distances via sneezing and coughing. The aerosol droplets released by an infected canine or wild animal when it coughs, sneezes, or barks spread the disease to neighboring animals and objects like food and water bowls.
Most disinfectants can kill the virus. Unfortunately, distemper-infected dogs can spread the virus for up to several months, endangering adjacent pets.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms Of Canine Distemper?
Depending on the severity of the infection inside their bodies, dogs with distemper exhibit a wide range of symptoms. The main clinical canine distemper symptoms are nausea, vomiting, coughing up a yellowish discharge, and, in more severe cases, seizures and neurological problems. There are cases where, even after treating the illness, dogs still suffer from persistent nervous muscle twitches and recurrent seizures.
Distemper typically manifests as a fever for 3 days to 1 week and a loss of appetite, aside from eye and nasal discharge. Another risk associated with canine distemper is a secondary bacterial infection. It develops when a dog’s immune system is compromised by the distemper virus, causing pneumonia, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some dogs have neurological symptoms when the illness progresses and spreads to the central nervous system; occasionally, this can lead to death.
Treatment for Canines and Puppies with Distemper
Canine distemper has no known cure. In addition to treating neurological, diarrheal, and vomiting symptoms, veterinarians also work to avoid secondary infections and dehydration. Most veterinarians advise hospitalizing dogs and isolating them to prevent the spread of the disease.
How To Prevent Canine Distemper
Canine distemper is avoidable. Here are various things you can do to stop your dogs from getting distemper:
- A complete set of distemper immunizations for your dog is a must and prevent any immunization gaps.
- Do not let your dog interact with wildlife or sick animals.
- Exercise caution when socializing a puppy or an unvaccinated dog, especially in areas where dogs mix, such as dog parks, classes, and dog daycare.
You can protect your precious dog from distemper by carrying out these actions. Speak to your veterinarian if you have any other questions regarding canine distemper, and dial their number immediately if you think your dog may be displaying symptoms of the disease.
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