Let's Talk... About Canine Distemper

Canine Distemper is a very contagious virus that affects dogs. It's very similar to, and it comes from the same family as the human Measles virus.

It's been around since about 1905, when it's said to have been discovered by a fella named Henri Carre`, a French veterinarian.

The virus tends to first attack the respiratory system, and then the gastrointestinal, and finally in severe cases the neurological system.

Any dog can become infected with distemper, but the most often affected are puppies younger than 6 months and older dogs. Which is the same as in people, meaning the very young and the elderly tend to have weakened immune systems and therefore more vulnerable.

Unfortunately, domestic dogs have spread the virus to the wildlife community. It has also infected the likes of wolves, foxes and coyotes, as well as animals such as raccoons and ferrets.

Transmittal and Symptoms of Canine Distemper

This virus is airborne, and is usually spread by the coughing and nasal secretions of infected animals. Dogs can also become infected through contact with contaminated urine. Because is so easily transmitted when dogs are in close quarters, it can spread through an entire kennel very quickly.

The symptoms are just as numerous as they are varied. The first sign is usually a watery mucus like discharge from the eyes, and followed by. . .

  • Nasal discharge (runny nose)
  • Fever (warm dry nose and warm pads)
  • Lethargy (not wanting to move much)
  • Lack of appetite (not wanting to eat much)
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The virus is also known to cause hardening of the foot pads, as well as neurological symptoms, such as seizures and partial paralysis.

These symptoms are very similar to many other illnesses. If you have concerns that appear as if your dog is catching a cold, especially if you're not familiar with her vaccination history, then it's best to be safe and take a trip to your veterinarian.

Treatment for Distemper

Canine Distemper is a very serious, life-threatening disease and there is no "cure". The treatment for this virus is much like the treatment for Parvo and consists of giving the dog as much support as possible:

  • Antibiotics to help prevent secondary infections
  • Intravenous fluids to help prevent dehydration
  • Medication to help control vomiting
  • Anti-seizure medication if neurological symptoms appear

There have been studies done regarding Vitamin A having astonishing results in effectively treating both Distemper in dogs, as well as the Measles in humans.

How to help prevent Distemper

The vaccine for this virus is very effective, and it is part of the regular puppy vaccinations your dog should receive.

The key to protecting your dog from this and other viruses is to follow the protocol of 3 to 4 sets of vaccinations in order to ensure the mothers natural antibodies don't interfere with your dogs ability to develop immunity.

The next best thing you can do protect your dog, is to give him natural supplements that help boost the immune system.

Common Spelling errors & Synonyms

When you're searching for information it will help to know these common spelling errors such as Rotweiler, Rottweiller, or Rotwiler. Some common synonyms are Rottie and Rott

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