What causes distemper in dogs? It is an acute viral infection that mostly affects dogs and puppies during their early stages of life. Distemper in dogs is also known as Canine Distemper. It is highly contagious canine disease of dogs which mainly affects the upper respiratory, digestive and nervous systems of dogs and puppies. Distemper in dogs is also commonly seen in unaltered older dogs and senior dogs. The symptoms of distemper in dogs generally occur within four weeks of infection and show up as high fever, cough, sneezing, loss of appetite and weight loss.
It is highly recommended that you examine your dog closely after it has been exposed to distemper in dogs. If you find that your dog shows high fever for three days or more, then it is best to take it to the veterinarian immediately for proper treatment. High temperature and cough are common symptoms. Loss of appetite and weight loss are also symptoms.
If you believe your puppy has been exposed to distemper in dogs, consult your veterinarian immediately. It is important to recognize the signs of distemper in dogs so that you can treat it appropriately. Small puppies, older dogs and senior dogs are most susceptible to this condition. This condition is highly contagious and can easily spread to other dogs within the household. Hence, you need to ensure that the entire household is treated.
Small puppies and older dogs are prone to this infection. Small puppies can easily be infected with distemper through inhalation of infected droppings, inhaling of contaminated saliva and touching of a contaminated object. Canine distemper virus lives in the skin and saliva of affected animals. Once your pet exhibits early signs of respiratory illness, contact your vet. He will be able to diagnose and treat your dog’s infection.
Another way to determine if your pet has been exposed to this highly contagious virus is by observing the symptoms. There are four common symptoms to look out for. These include lethargy, vomiting, fever and cough. Lethargy is a decrease in appetite and water intake along with the presence of excessive salivation. If your pet exhibits lethargy, vomiting and a fever, this could be a sign of a general illness or contamination of the lungs.
Fever and cough are also common signs. You should take your dog to the vet right away if you notice these symptoms. It is important to determine which virus is affecting your dog and begin treatment accordingly. A virus not treated could lead to death. To minimize the chances of death occurring, treatment should be started as soon as possible.
Distemper in dogs can cause many other symptoms including diarrhea, dehydration, anemia, blood infections and even pneumonia. When your dog has diarrhea, he will generally vomit and lose weight. The vomiting, lack of appetite, vomiting and weakness in your dog could be a sign of a serious infection. If these symptoms persist for more than two days, it is best that you bring your dog to the vet for a diagnosis. He may prescribe medications to treat diarrhea, dehydration and other issues.
The respiratory system is not the only place where distemper in dogs can affect the animal. Puppies can be infected with the virus through their umbilical cords during pregnancy. Mange can also be a symptom of distemper in dogs. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, contact your vet immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Veterinarians usually recommend the administration of a single dose of distemper vaccine or an alternate form of canine parvovirus (dipavir) vaccine, commonly known as the diphasic, rabies vaccine, before the puppies are weaned or when the mother dog becomes sick. A single dose of distemper vaccine will give your dogs’ protection against the distemper virus. However, a single dose of rabies vaccine is not always enough as the canine strain of the virus changes with the seasons.
It is important that you give your dogs a nutritious diet free from chemicals, preservatives, artificial colorings, flavorings, salt, sugar and gluten. Avoid giving your dog’s bones, dried fruits and wheat-based products. Do not give your dogs fatty or spicy foods unless specified by your veterinarian. Avoid feeding your dogs dairy products such as milk and yogurt. Feeding them uncooked bones, cooked eggs, boiled rice, applesauce and other cooked fruits are highly recommended by the veterinarian.
Distemper in dogs can be prevented by vaccination. However, distemper vaccination is often not sufficient to protect your dog against the full-blown infection. That is why it is important that your veterinarian check for signs of the disease even after the last round of vaccination. Early detection and treatment of this disease ensure faster recovery and less stress for the pet and its owners.