Canine Distemper    




Distemper is a common, highly contagious and often fatal disease of dogs, wolves, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, mink and ferrets. The disease is most often seen in young, unvaccinated dogs, as well as older dogs who have not been vaccinated regularly. The period between exposure to the virus and symptoms is apptoximately 6-10 days





Symptoms of distemper are extremely variable. All of the symptoms or any combination of symptoms may be present. Usually the first signs of the disease are fever, no appetite, fatigue, and vomiting. These symptoms are usually followed by diarrhea, coughing, thick yellow-green discharge from the nose and eyes, and pneumonia. Eventually the dog develops convulsions.







Treatment for distemper is mediocre at best. There is no known medication that destroys the virus. The treatment is aimed at preventing secondary infections and keeping the dog warm and hydrated. Anibiotics are usually given for pneumonia and diarrhea. If the dog manages to recover from distemper, he or she is often left with permanent neurological problems.





Before the series of distemper vaccinations are completed, it is best to isolate your puppy from possible sources of the virus. Keep your dog awy from potential distemper contaminated areas. These areas include but are not limited to parks and other areas where dogs congregate, boarding kennels, and grooming facilities.






Vaccinations against distemper should begin at 6 a 8 weeks of age. Repeat vaccinations should be administered evry 3 a 4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old. Regular booster vaccinations are strongly recommended to ensure proper immunity.

Vaccinating your dog against distemper is safe, effective and inexpensive. Call your veterinary hospital to arrange a vaccination appointment.










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