Distemper in dogs: how to fight this deadly virus

Generally, veterinarians offer this vaccination from the first months of the puppy. (©kzenon-stock-adobe-com)

Yes distemper is anecdotal in France, it is no less dangerous. Only vaccination can protect your animal.

Moreover, the veterinarian systematically offers it from the first consultations. The puppy must be vaccinated between 8 and 10 weeks and it is absolutely necessary to perform an annual booster to boost your dog’s antibodies.

Contagion of the disease is from animal to animal, it requires direct contact. The virus can be transmitted by saliva, nasal secretions, stools… The dog can also catch it by sniffing objects soiled by a sick animal.

However, it is a very fragile virus that can easily be eliminated by disinfectants. It should be noted that the risk is all the higher in town as your puppy will meet many of his congeners during his first outings.

Distemper, a virus?

Distemper is indeed a virus. It’s about paramyxovirus, a virus similar to that of measles in humans. He is sensitive to heat. Moreover, distemper is mainly contracted in winter.

It affects canids in the broadest sense, from dogs to wolves and foxes, including big cats and also ferrets.

The incubation period varies between 3 and 5 days. This virus causes respiratory and nervous system damage as well as general congestion of the organs.

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Signs that should alert

The dog can start to cough. The other first signs are going to be a truffle flowa respiratory infectionof the temperaturea big fatigueof the diarrheafrom vomiting and sometimes seizures.

Your pet may also have eye inflammation, mild paralysis, pustules may appear on the skin and he may very quickly suffer from dehydration.

The diagnosis is not always easy to establish, the veterinarian will ensure the presence of the virus by taking a nasal swab, type PCR (the now well known).

As you will have understood, this disease has multiple symptoms, it is almost always fatal, and if this is not the case, it can leave serious sequelae. You might as well not take it lightly and opt for regular vaccination.


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