Dog Disease - Canine Distemper Disease

Canine distemper is a highly transmissible and hazardous viral disease which attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. This dog disease is not just limited  to dog, but also affects wild animals like foxes, wolves, mink, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and ferrets.

Causes of Canine Distemper
The virus that causes canine distemper is contained in the secretions of the infected dogs and puppies. It then affects the other puppies and dogs due to air contact. Outbreaks of distemper are discontinuous. Since canine distemper affects wildlife populations, contact between wild life and dogs can help spread the virus. Non-vaccinated dogs are at a greater risk of catching this disease. The puppies which are not vaccinated are at a greater threat. Dogs which are suffering from distemper normally die and those that survive may suffer permanent neurological problems such as muscle twitching or convulsions. 

The symptoms of this dog disease develop a few days after exposure to the virus and include:

Appetite loss
Pus-filled eyes
Nasal discharge
Vomiting and diarrhea
Muscular twitching

Initially many dogs died because of canine distemper. But now this disease is quite rare and can be prevented by vaccinations. However, the disease has not been totally eradicated because of this. All puppies and dogs should be vaccinated against this deadly disease. Puppies must be vaccinated at 8 weeks, then 10 to 12 weeks depending upong the manufacturers recommendation. Thereafter booster vaccinations should be given at 15 months and then every three years.

This canine disease can be diagnosed by the clinical appearance and laboratory tests. There is no specific treatment for this dog disease. However, in order to prevent secondary infections treatment is done, treatment is done in order to control vomiting, diarrhea, or neurological symptoms, and combat dehydration by injecting fluids. The dogs suffering from canine distemper must be kept warm, isolated from other dogs and must be given good nursing care.