Canine Distemper: Is one of the most significant and highly contagious viral diseases of dogs. – It also affects raccoons, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and weasels. Targets various organ systems at the same time. It is caused by a paramyxovirus, a type of virus that causes measles in humans and rinderpest in hoofed- animals such as cattle. There is no cure for canine distemper.
Symptoms of Canine Distemper: Gooey eye and nose discharge Fever (which often comes and goes unnoticed) Poor appetite Coughing and the development of pneumonia Vomiting and diarrhea Callusing of the nose and foot pads – Hence why distemper was once called hard pad disease Seizures – Also tremors, imbalance, limb weakness, brain swelling, increased sensitivity, and partial to complete paralysis – A ”chewing gum” seizure often occurs, that affects the head and makes the animal appear to be chewing gum
Transmission and Infection: Canine distemper is spread in many ways: – Through exhalation, infected eye and nose secretions, urine, feces, and even food and water that have been exposed. The virus first enters the lymph system, then the blood and finally effects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogential, and central nervous systems. The last stage is when symptoms become noticeable.
Prevention of Canine Distemper: The prevention of CDV is easy. Distemper vaccination has been available since the 1950s. Vaccination of young dogs begin as early as 6 weeks of age. – Booster shots are given yearly. Basic hygiene and sanitation can also kill the virus. – Example-standard disinfectants.
Treatment of Canine Distemper: Similar to other viral disease there is no direct treatment for canine distemper. Early detection of the disease is important to increase chances of recovery. Antibiotic therapy may lessen any detrimental effects of secondary bacteria infections. Once an animal is infected you can only offer support and hope for the best. Recovery can be absolute. – However, even with utmost care, lingering signs do appear throughout the animal’s life such as muscle twitching.