Posted on Aug.03, 2008, under Tutorial
Canine distemper is a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and, often, the nervous systems of puppies and dogs. Puppies and dogs usually become infected through airborne exposure to the virus contained in respiratory secretions of an infected dog or wild animal.
All dogs are at risk but puppies younger than four months old and dogs that have not been vaccinated against canine distemper are at increased risk of acquiring the disease.
The first sign of distemper is eye discharge that may appear watery to pus-like. Subsequently, dogs develop fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. In later stages, the virus may attack the nervous system, bringing about seizures, twitching, or partial or complete paralysis. Occasionally, the virus may cause footpads to harden.
How to prevent Canine Distemper?
Vaccination and avoiding contact with infected animals are key elements of canine distemper prevention.
Vaccination is important. Young puppies are very susceptible to infection, particularly because the natural immunity provided in their mothers’ milk may wear off before the puppies’ own immune systems are mature enough to fight off infection. To protect adult dogs, pet owners should be sure that their dog’s distemper vaccination is up-to-date. Ask your veterinarian about a recommended vaccination program for your canine companion.
Below are kinds of vaccines that often used to prevent canine distemper:
article source: AVMA brochure “What you should know about Canine Distemper“