Canine distemper is a highly contagious, often fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and the nervous systems. Contact among recently infected animals maintains the virus in a population, and a constant supply of puppies helps to provide a susceptible population for infection. Although immunity to virulent canine distemper is prolonged or lifelong, it is not as absolute after vaccination. Dogs that do not receive periodic immunizations may lose their protection and become infected after stress, immunosuppression, or contact with diseased animals. Canine distemper is a highly contagious virus caused by the paramyxovirus. It is seen in dogs around the world, but it can also affect ferrets, racoons, skunks, grey foxes, and many other animals.
A severe and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals, distemper spreads through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. This disease used to be known as “hard pad” because it causes the footpad to thicken and harden.
There is no cure for distemper. Treatment consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections, control symptoms of vomiting, seizures and more. If the animal survives the symptoms, it is hoped that the dog’s immune system will have a chance to fight it off. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months.
Symptoms of Canine Distemper
Canine distemper affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, skin, immune, and central nervous systems. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to show up after exposure.
Signs and symptoms of canine distemper include:
- Nasal discharge
- Eye discharge
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Thickening of nose and foot pads
- Skin sores
Features of Distemper in Dogs
Canine distemper is caused by the paramyxovirus virus. Animals get infected from contact with infected urine, blood, saliva, or respiratory droplets. Of these, transmission usually happens through droplets. It can be spread through coughing and sneezing or contaminated food and water bowls. Canine distemper can occur year round, but the virus is resistant to cold. The majority of cases in domestic dogs occur in the late fall and winter.
Vaccination is crucial in preventing canine distemper.
- A series of vaccinations is administered to puppies to increase the likelihood of building immunity when the immune system has not yet fully matured.
- Avoid gaps in the immunization schedule and make sure distemper vaccinations are up to date.
- Avoid contact with infected animals and wildlife
- Use caution when socializing puppies or unvaccinated dogs at parks, puppy classes, obedience classes, doggy day care and other places where dogs can congregate.
- Pet ferrets should be vaccinated against canine distemper using a USDA-approved ferret vaccine.
Prices of Distemper Vaccine For Dogs
$35.00 – $90.00