What causes distemper in dogs? Distemper, also known as Avian Distemper, is an extremely contagious and dangerous canine disease. It primarily affects dogs but also can affect ferrets, wild cats, and skunks. Avian distemper in dogs is usually caused by a strain of a virus called parainfluenza virus or a strain of Listeria virus.
The symptoms of distemper in dogs will generally begin to show within a week of the dog being infected. These include high fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, cough, and swelling of the lymph nodes or joints. If the dog’s body becomes immune to the disease, the symptoms will diminish, but it takes time for that to happen. Once the dog is fully recovered, there can still be complications with the respiratory system of the dog once he or she has recovered from the disease.
One of the main symptoms of distemper in dogs is diarrhea. The dog will experience an extreme bout of diarrhea accompanied by watery stools several times a day. However, the dog may alternate between diarrhea and constipation throughout the week. The dog’s feces may also be dark in color.
Other symptoms include a low-grade fever, low-grade muscle aches, loss of appetite, vomiting, and a generally ill feeling. If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet immediately. Your vet will perform a series of tests to determine what type of infection your dog has. These include a serological test (to identify the infection), a spinal fluid leak test, a urinalysis, cultures, and a viral culture. Keep in mind that some of these tests may be repeated because the conditions behind each symptom are unique.
Distemper in dogs is typically treated with antibiotics. These antibiotics kill off the infection in the dogs’ body, but it is important to realize that this is only a means of controlling the symptoms of the disease. Proper diet, nutrition, and regular exercise are also necessary for the overall health of your dog.
It is extremely important that you see your vet for your dog’s diagnosis as soon as possible. Distemper in dogs can be fatal if not treated properly. In some cases, treatment options can include extensive surgical procedures and hospitalization. Also, the earlier you detect the symptoms of the disease, the better your chances for survival. Because distemper in dogs can be deadly, it is imperative that you treat your dog properly and promptly.
When your dog has any of the above-mentioned signs, he or she should be evaluated by a vet. He or she will be able to quickly determine what the underlying cause is and what treatment options are available. If your dog displays one or more of these symptoms of distemper in dogs, the vet may prescribe an antibiotic for treatment. Depending on the severity of the disease, there may be a need for blood tests as well.
The treatment options for symptoms of distemper in dogs include administration of intravenous fluids and ointments, administration of fluids and electrolytes, and administration of medications. To prevent death from dehydration, your vet may also prescribe fluids and electrolyte supplements. If the vomiting and diarrhea are severe, heart failure may occur. Severe cases may require heart transplantation.
Because there are various signs and symptoms of the disease, distemper in dogs can have different outcomes. Some dogs will be able to heal fully, while others may require longer treatment. The overall prognosis of distemper in dogs, however, should always be considered safe. As a matter of fact, it is less lethal than some other types of canine infections.
In most cases of distemper in dogs, the virus is caught through a respiratory route. This means that the virus is contracted through breathing in an infected animal’s respiratory secretions. Although distemper in dogs can also be transmitted through indirect contact, such as through grooming, it is most often caught through inhalation. Some gastrointestinal symptoms, like vomiting and diarrhea, are not considered respiratory symptoms. Therefore, they do not warrant a closer look at the possibility of transmission to your pet.
Distemper in dogs can result in serious, life-threatening complications if not treated promptly. The virus, which is spread easily through coughing and sharing cups and bowls, can result in death in less than six weeks. Some of the distemper virus symptoms include coughing fits, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. If these symptoms do not present themselves or if the dog is not getting better, you should call your vet immediately. Your vet will likely prescribe antibiotics, which can effectively combat the disease. However, if your dog has already been diagnosed with the disease, he or she may need to be hospitalized and given an intensive course of antibiotics to treat the infection.