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Canine Distemper

Canine Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted in the air. It affects the dog's respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervious system and can be fatal if not treated in time. Puppies and older dogs are more susceptible to contracting canine distemper. (Distemper in cats is known as Feline Panleukopenia and is caused by the parvovirus.)

Symptoms of Canine Distemper

Dogs who have contracted canine distemper suffer from the following symptoms which often get more severe as the disease progresses:

  • Redness in the eyes
  • Nasal discharge
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Shivering
  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Thickened footpads
  • Quickly exhausted
  • Severe weight loss
  • Fainting
  • Coughing up blood

Conventional Treatment

It is important to seek treatment immediately if you suspect your dog has contracted canine distemper. While there is no known cure, conventional treatment usually involved antibiotics for secondary infections and intravenous fluids. Because most dogs are vaccinated for the distemper virus, the incidence of this disease has greatly decreased over the years. However, many vets and animal caretakers believe that yearly vaccinations are leading to more and more disorders of the immune system which results in dogs and cats becoming susceptible to many diseases.