What is distemper in dogs and how does it affect dogs? Distemper is an extremely contagious virus which dogs can acquire at any time of their life. Dogs can acquire distemper from a variety of sources including mosquitoes, bats, and other animals. Canine distemper Virus causes very serious canine symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, and severe eye and neurological infection. Distemper has a very high fatality rate particularly in young dogs that is why vaccination against distemper becomes very vital. It is also advisable to provide your pet with a distemper vaccination when it reaches four weeks of age.
The symptoms of distemper in dogs vary depending on the type of virus. The more lethal forms of the disease usually affect puppies and children and can lead to death. There are several types of canine distemper vaccination available in the market today. These vaccines protect against two major strains of the disease, each resulting in a different type of symptoms in dogs.
– Complete Blood Count (or c-reactive protein) vaccine provides protection against three main strains including parainfluenza, distemper combo, and parvovirus. Your dog may show signs of respiratory distress, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever if he/she has contracted distemper in dogs through one or more of these routes. A complete blood count gives your vet an accurate assessment of your dog’s haemoglobin and platelet counts. In case of a failure to result in adequate levels of circulating white blood cells, your vet may consider other tests such as urinalysis, blood culture, or computer assisted tomography (CT) scan.
– Seizures. Distemper in dogs is usually accompanied by several kinds of seizures. Some of the most common include fainting, frothing from the mouth, decreased vision, increased sensitivity to light and noise, increased sensitivity to touch, and severe pain. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, see your veterinarian immediately for treatment.
– Nervous System. If your dog develops distemper along with the other signs mentioned above, it may have crossed the line into the realm of nervous system involvement. This distemper will likely affect the central nervous system and will require immediate treatment. It will be administered through intravenous methods. Your veterinarian may prescribe medication for this condition.
– Nasal Interference. The most likely cause of distemper in dogs is airborne exposure. This is one of the most serious infectious diseases that can affect a pet dog, so it will be essential to isolate the sick pup from others. For this reason, it’s important to check out all surroundings when your pet is ill, especially if you suspect he has not been seen by a veterinarian within the last 24 hours. If the vet confirms distemper, a positive diagnosis is confirmed by means of a nasal scraping.
How to prevent distemper in dogs involves more than just keeping them away from infected animals. You also need to provide them with a safe and healthy environment. The best way to accomplish this is through vaccination. However, if your dog has not received a vaccination against distemper, or any other disease, the primary vaccination will fail to prevent neurological symptoms, because the disease is not being dealt with. This can lead to neurological complications. If your dog is unwell and has not received the primary course of a course of the recommended vaccinations, then he should be vaccinated on the day after being tested.
A secondary course of the distemper vaccination will help ensure your dog remains healthy and thus not contract the disease. If you have had a previous reaction to the distemper vaccine, then a follow up shot will be required. This is often administered a few days after distemper is no longer present. Distemper in dogs is a serious disease that requires immediate treatment to stop the infection in its tracks, so do not neglect your dog’s health when he is sick.