Distemper in dogs or canine distemper fatal sometimes seen in dogs worldwide. Although its incidence has declined largely due to vaccination, distemper cases and outbreaks are still seen sporadically.
Distemper in dogs is caused by the canine distemper virus. This virus can also infect other species like cats and wild animals such as coyotes, foxes, wolves, skunks and even birds.
Animals are usually infected by direct contact with virus particles secretions from infected animals (usually through inhalation).
Indirect transmission is not common because the virus of distemper in dogs do not survive long in the environment.
The virus can be spread by dogs for several weeks after recovery.
Puppies under four months of age before vaccines that are fully protective and unvaccinated dogs are at greater risk.
Because the distemper in dogs also occurs in wild animals, contact with wild animals may contribute to the spread of distemper pets.
Distemper in dogs provokes symptoms in multiple body systems, including the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, brain and spinal cord.
The onset of symptoms and course of distemper can be variable, ranging from very mild to fatal disease disease.
Any of the following symptoms can be seen: fever often an episode a few days after infection that can not be noticed, when other symptoms begin to appear, runny eyes and nose, loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea, cough, shortness of breath, hardening of the foot pads and nose, inflammation of various parts of the eye, secondary bacterial infections, neurological symptoms are variable.
Neurological symptoms of distemper in dogs can not develop at all or develop later in the disease sometimes even after several weeks.
Neurological symptoms of distemper can include any of the following symptoms: muscle spasms, weakness or paralysis, seizures of any part of the body.
But the seizures that look as if the dog is chewing gum are unique to distemper, uncoordinated movements , increased sensitivity to touch or pain.
Vaccination is effective in the prevention of distemper in dogs symptoms Treatment
The diagnosis of distemper is mainly based on history and clinical signs. Because the signs are variable and may be delayed and secondary infections are common, the diagnosis can be tricky.
In addition, other infections can produce symptoms similar to distemper. A variety of laboratory tests can help confirm the diagnosis and some can be done to rule out other infections.
There is no specific treatment for distemper virus in dogs, so treatment involves managing the various symptoms and secondary infections. Even with treatment, canine distemper can be fatal.
Treatment depends on symptoms appear and may include fluids to combat dehydration, medication to reduce vomiting, antibiotics and other medicines to treat pneumonia, antibiotics for secondary infections, and anticonvulsants to treat seizures. Neurological symptoms may become progressively worse and not respond to treatment, recovery and even some neurological effects may persist.
Distemper in dogs incubation period or canine distemper fatal sometimes seen in dogs worldwide.
Vaccination is effective in preventing distemper . Puppies are often vaccinated starting at 6 weeks of age and at regular intervals every 2-4 weeks until they are 14 to 16 weeks of age as with other vaccines, the presence of antibodies received from the mother can interfere with vaccine so a puppy is not considered fully protected until after the final vaccine given in the series.
Vaccination should be repeated a year later, and then at regular intervals. Your veterinarian will discuss a plan appropriate vaccination for your dog based on history and risk factors of your dog.
Until the puppies have received all vaccines in the series at 14-16 weeks, it is prudent to be careful with exposure to unfamiliar dogs for example, dog parks to avoid exposure to the virus as much as possible.
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