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Dog Distemper

Dog distemper is defined as an extremely infectious, viral disease distinguished by a decrease of appetite, excretion from the eyes and nasal areas, vomiting, fever, paralysis caused by a breakdown of nerve tissue, and death. It is a serious disease that should never be taken lightly. As with any disease, it is important to understand what causes it, how to recognize it, how it can be prevented and how it can be treated.

First of all, dog distemper is caused by a germ. Measles is the human disease that it is most comparable to because they are closely related. In fact, dog distemper was once the leading cause of death in unvaccinated puppies. This is because young dogs are usually the most susceptible to any type of disease or infection.

Prevention is the best route you can take, since there is no cure. The prevention of dog distemper is achieved by vaccination. At a very young age, puppies need to receive the CDV or canine distemper virus vaccination to ensure that they are not infected with this sad disease. Another method of prevention is to keep your dogs kennel or living area as clean or well kept as possible.

It is important to note that the canine distemper virus can be spread many ways. It mainly spread by airborne respiratory secretions that your animal inhales just like a cold or the flu would be spread. You see, the uninfected dog comes into contact with the germs, inhales and the virus spreads to the lymph nodes and on to all other vital organs. Fortunately, a healthy dog with a strong immune system may be able to fight off the disease but not all dogs are this lucky, this is why a vaccine for dog distemper is so crucial.

In addition to the symptoms stated above, other symptoms you might need to look for are; anorexia, depression, upper respiratory infections, coughing, hardened paws or nose, diarrhea and fever. Dog distemper can be fatal but it all depends on the ability of the infected dog to fight off the virus.

As I said before, this disease can be deadly and is not curable at this present time. Remember, your only means of protection is through vaccination. Do yourself and your dog a favor and vaccinate them from dog distemper at a young age, so they do not have to endure this horrible disease.