Dog Diseases - Canine Distemper

Dog Canine Distemper Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. It is a serious illness that is fatal in most puppies and half of all affected dogs. Canine Distemper is caused by Paramyxovirus, closely related to Measles virus. It affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye.

Young, unvaccinated puppies and non-immunized older dogs tend to be more susceptible to the disease.

The first signs of canine distemper include sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose. Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms of the virus.

Distemper has no medical cure, so it is very important to vaccinate your dog against it.

There is currently no available medication that can destroy the virus that causes canine distemper. Rather, supportive care is the mainstay of treatment. Veterinarians can offer intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and antibiotics to ward off secondary infections while the infected dog builds up his immune response. Some dogs are able to survive the infection, while for others canine distemper can be fatal.