Distemper in Dogs
Most of the dog owners have heard the term distemper in dogs, but only a few of them exactly knows what dog distemper is.
Do you know that distemper has been considered as one of the fatal disease in dogs?
Several vets have stated that ignorance of such disease can bring your dog’s life in danger. Most often distemper in dogs leads to death.
If proper prevention methods have taken, then this deadly and contagious disease can be cured easily.
Here are some significant facts, symptoms and prevention methods that every dog owner must know about distemper in dogs.
What is Dog Distemper?
Distemper is a viral disease that occurs due to canine distemper virus (CDV) which affects the functioning of respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems in dogs.
This disease is very contagious and is often fatal.
Most of the vets said that puppies of age between three to six months are more likely to get contact with this disease rather than an infected adult dog.
It is a severe disease, and potentially lethal which needs veterinary treatment immediately.
Sometimes it causes several illnesses in the dog’s body by attacking multiple functioning systems which leads to widespread of infection in the host body that is difficult to treat.
That is why it is mandatory for all the dog owners to provide proper distemper immunisation in the first 12 months of puppies life to avoid this vulnerable disease.
How Distemper in Dogs Spread?
There are several ways by which your dog can get this canine distemper virus, but I have listed only three ways through which most of the dogs get infected.
– By coming in direct contact with an infected dog or animal.
– It can also happen due to airborne exposure
-Through the placenta
As I mentioned above that this disease could spread through direct contact or airborne exposure just like the cold in humans.
When an infected dog sneezes or coughs, it releases aerosol droplets in the air which results in infecting all those dogs or animals which are near to that infected dog.
It is sporadic that bitches can also spread this canine distemper virus through the placenta to their puppies that is why most of the vets recommend that you should have to vaccinate any dog you plan to breed entirely.
Distemper Symptoms in Dogs
A dog suffering from distemper might experience a wide range of symptoms which entirely depends on the level of disease in the host body.
Initially, the symptom of distemper in dogs is followed by fever, runny nose, loss of appetite and watery to pus-like discharge from their eyes.
It also depends on the level of infection caused by the virus and overall dog’s health in which the dog might also experience:
-Depletion of white blood cells
– Hardening and enlargement of the pads of the foot
– Continued fever
Secondary bacterial infections can also make the situation worse.
Sometimes in this situation, a dog can develop an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that are usually neurological complications which brings your dog’s life in danger resulting in death.
These symptoms are particularly disturbing for dog owners that are listed below:
– Partial or Full paralysis attack
-Myoclonus that results in disabling muscle spasm
– A sudden increase in the salivation and chewing activities
– Muscle twitching
Prevention of Distemper in Dogs
Distemper in dogs can also be cure if proper measures and vaccination have followed on time.
Here are few ways that can help you to prevent your dog from distemper.
– Make sure that your dog has gone through full distemper vaccination course.
– Avoid your dog from getting in contact with an infected dog.
– Make sure to keep your dog’s distemper vaccination up to date throughout his life and always avoid any gaps during the vaccination period.
– Make sure that your dog should be kept away from those surroundings where they are more likely to get infected for instance dog parks, dog classes and dog day care before the last round of immunisation achieved.
Dog Distemper Treatment
Unfortunately, no specific drug medicine in the market can cure distemper in dogs.
If your dog has encountered this fatal problem, then this is a time to give your dog some supportive cares regarding different symptoms to prevent any infection in the long run.
Here are few examples of the supportive cares you can give to your dog which are listed below:
– Anti-seizure medication should be provided to your dog if your dog is suffering from distemper
– Antibiotics are also the best way to prevent pneumonia
-IV fluids must be given to the dog to replace the fluids that have lost due to diarrhea and vomiting
– Steroids( it can be used only when the condition becomes worse and out of control even after the regular medication process)
Please ask your vet if you find your dog problem has been becoming worse or showing any unusual symptoms. I hope this article will help you to understand this problem more clearly.
If you are already aware of this problem and knows some great ways to prevent this disease if you think I have not listed here.
Please let us know in the comments section below because it will help others.