Canine Distemper in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Canine distemper in dogs is a serious, viral, and contagious sickness that knows no cure. This disease tends to affect non-vaccinate puppies and non-immunized older dogs. It is not exclusive of dogs as other wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, wolves, and foxes can acquire it too.
Acquiring the bacteria that causes canine distemper will help us decide what kind of treatment will be more appropriate for the dog. Hence, the importance of an accurate diagnosis.
What causes canine distemper in dogs?
There are several causes for canine distemper in dogs. Bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems can increase a dog’s chances of acquiring it. If your dog has not been vaccinated against canine distemper, it carries a higher risk of acquiring the disease if in contact with an infected dog.
The virus, a Morbillivirus class, can be spread through the air, through utensils or through direct contact with an infected dog.
What are the symptoms of the disease?
In dogs, the virus will usually attack the tonsils and lymph nodes, where it replicates for at least one week. After that time it will move into the respiratory system, nervous system, gastrointestinal system, and urogenital system.
Some of the most common symptoms you will see in an infected dog are:
- Reddened eyes
- High fever
- Lethargy and tiredness
When the virus attacks the nervous system, some serious complications can take place in the brain and spinal cord. Some of the symptoms you might see on your dog could be seizures, fits, paralysis, and hysteria attacks.
What can I do if my dog suffers canine distemper?
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from this disease, visit the veterinarian immediately to avoid any complications. The virus spreads rapidly. The veterinarian will prescribe medication to help alleviate the dog’s symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no cure for canine distemper in dogs.
It can be prevented through vaccination. Make sure you can program taking your pet for a vaccination against canine distemper.
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