Canine distemper is a virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, respiratory and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye.
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.
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.
Dogs who recover from canine distemper may have seizures or other central nervous system disorders that may not show up until many years later – sometimes in their old age. They may also be left with permanent brain and nerve damage, and these symptoms also may not show up until years later.
Last Hope vaccinates all its dogs against distemper because it is such a contagious and dangerous virus.
To help Last Hope continue to vaccinate against this dangerous virus, donate today!