What Is Canine Distemper?
Canine distemper is a serious sickness caused by a highly contagious virus that attacks canines’ respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. Foxes, wolves, coyotes, raccoons, and other wild animals in the canine home are also infected.
Infection is especially common in puppies and kittens. Older dogs can also be infected, though this happens much less frequently.
Canine distemper kills more than half of all canines infected with the disease. For young puppies, the survival rate is significantly lower, at 20%. Even if the dog survives the sickness, its health will almost certainly be impacted in the long run.
How Does Canine Distemper Spread?
The neural system of the dog is harmed as a result of canine distemper, and there is little prospect for overall recovery. In addition to various affects on the sense of odour, hearing, and sight, complete or partial paralysis is common.
Infected dogs are more susceptible to other illnesses, such as pneumonia. Humans are not infected with the canine distemper virus (CDV).
The illness of canine distemper is spread by intimate contact with mucus and secretions from infected dogs’ nostrils and eyes.
It can also be triggered by exposure to the urine and faeces of infected pets.
Even if a healthy dog does not come into contact with diseased dogs, he or she can catch the disease through direct contact with kennels and other places where infected dogs have lived.
Complications Can Be Serious
Because the virus is airborne and may survive outside of a host for long periods of time, these places may still carry the infection.
It is quite tough to keep your animal from becoming infected with the virus. According to some scientists, every pet dog that lives for a year has come into touch with the illness at some point.
Canine distemper has symptoms that are not always obvious. As a result, immediate treatment is rarely used. The condition is usually misdiagnosed as a terrible cold in the majority of dogs, who develop a fever and a stuffy head as a result of the infection.
Pneumonia, bronchitis, and severe inflammation of the stomach and intestines are all possible complications of the condition.
Canine Distemper Symptoms
What an owner should look out for when anticipating signs of distemper, such as squinting and/or an eye discharge.
There is increased cause for concern if this occurs in conjunction with weight loss, vomiting, coughing, nasal leaks, and diarrhoea.
In the later stages of the sickness, the virus affects the neurological system, causing worrisome ticks and twitches as well as partial to complete paralysis. In addition, contaminated pets may become sedentary and lose their appetite.
There have been occasions where an infection causes the hard keratin cells of the footpad to develop rapidly, resulting in a hardened pad.
There Is No Cure Known
Because canine distemper is so widespread and the symptoms are so varied, if your pet exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, you should see a veterinarian right once for a diagnosis.
Making it through an infection, similar to various viral illnesses, often creates the necessary resistance to safeguard the dog from distemper infection for the rest of their lives.
However, many dogs (particularly puppies) do not become infected.
Vaccination remains the safest and most reliable form of protection. Vaccinations for your dog are recommended every year until researchers produce a distemper vaccine that provides life-long immunity with a single set of inoculations.
Puppies are in danger
The colostral milk generated by their mother during the first few days after birth provides a certain amount of inherent resistance to puppies whose parents have survived the sickness.
The level of resistance a young puppy develops is dependent on the number of antibodies its mother possesses. However, it is never absolute, and by 8 days old, it has dropped to around half, and by 2 weeks, it has dropped to roughly three-quarters.
It’s impossible for a pet owner to know when his or her animal needs to be inoculated because the optimal vaccination time differs from animal to animal.
The vet will determine the best time to begin vaccinations based on his experience and your companion dog’s overall health.
Routine care and attentive monitoring of indicators of disease are required to permit and ensure the dog’s sustained health and condition. When you’re wondering, “What is canine distemper?” it’s advisable to ge in contact with your vet right away, if your dog shows signs of:
#1 Discharge from the eyes and/or nose that is unusual
#2 There are no indicators of hunger.
#3 Weight gain and loss that fluctuates
#4 Excessive water consumption
#5 Stool output that is abnormal and uncontrolled
#6 Exceptional ferocity or drowsiness
#7 Continuous limping
#8 Having trouble getting up or resting
#9 Shaking of the head, clawing, biting, or licking of the body on a regular basis
#10 Hair loss, open sores, and a dull or rough coat
#11 Stale breath
#12 Tartar buildup on the teeth is excessive.
Even if you have these symptoms, it’s possible that you don’t have CDV infection. However, it is still preferable to bring these concerns to the attention of an expert straight once so that the situation can be treated.
Even with an illness of this magnitude, you can turn the tide of canine distemper in your pet’s favour by exercising caution for your pet’s health, recognising early symptoms, and consulting with your veterinarian on a regular basis.