Everything Owner’s Need to Know About Distemper in Dogs

Many body systems can be affected by the viral disease known as distemper. The gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems of your dog can be affected. Young puppies are particularly affected by this disease which is often fatal to them.

The distemper-causing virus is mainly transmitted through the air. Dogs that breathe these airborne particles in will become infected. If your dog has been infected, you will shed the virus in his urine and feces. The virus won’t be gone even after the symptoms have gone away. Your dog will keep shedding the virus for a few weeks. The virus will stop being shed after your dog makes a complete recovery.

Various bodily systems can be affected by distemper as mentioned earlier. Common symptoms include diarrhea, conjunctivitis, and vomiting. It is also common for dog to experience pneumonia or signs of another upper respiratory infection.

Dogs infected with this virus commonly lose their appetite, develop a fever, and experience eye inflammation. If the virus affects the central nervous system, your dog may experience seizures, depression, and also loss of motor skills. These are more serious signs of the disease.

Canine distemper can sometimes be hard to diagnose since other conditions can cause some of its same symptoms. The diagnosis can be confirmed using a laboratory test. There are various methods used to detect the virus and dogs that are affected will have low white blood cell counts.

Secondary bacterial infections may also occur. Therefore, the vet may elect to give your dog antibiotics too. Medications will also be given to help relieve diarrhea. Some dogs become dehydrated because of the diarrhea. They will need to be given intravenous fluids.

Most dogs are given a vaccine to prevent infection by this virus. All dogs need to be given this vaccination shot. Some dogs will need to receive a booster shot every couple of years or so.

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