Understanding the potential diseases that a pet can contract is the best way to provide protection because you know what to do to reduce risks and when to get treatment. Canine distemper is a dangerous viral disease that is highly contagious and has no known cure. It has a high fatality rate in dogs, and those that survive may experience lifelong suffering. Besides dogs, animals such as foxes, raccoons, skunks, wolves and ferrets can also contract the disease, making them a danger to your pet dog as well. Fortunately, the disease is highly preventable with a vaccine that is standard in the UK, so vets in Croydon can help protect your pet. It is important, though, to understand what the dangers are.
The virus that causes canine distemper is part of the paramyxoviridae family and has relations to other viruses that affect animals as well as the measles virus. A dog can contract the virus through indirect or direct contact because it spreads through the air. The disease is sometimes called hard pad disease because there is a strain that attacks the pads of a dog’s paws and causes them to harden. Canine distemper starts by attacking the lymphatic system, particularly the tonsils of an animal, from where it makes way to the respiratory, gastrointestinal and the nervous system. Puppies between 6 and 12 weeks that have not received vaccination for the disease have a high susceptibility. At this age, a dog does not have a strong immune system to combat infections, but Croydon vets can provide the necessary immunisations.
A dog will suffer different symptoms that depend on the progression of the disease and its strain. The first stage of sickness causes high temperatures in dogs, usually above 39.7°C. A dog will also experience tiredness and lose interest in the surrounding activities. The eyes and nose also discharge a watery liquid, which is in addition to reddening of the eyes. Vomiting, diarrhoea, dry cough, depression and loss of appetite that lead to weight loss are other symptoms. Vets can provide treatment for these symptoms since there is no cure. In a more serious case, a dog will experience confusion and exhibit seizure-like symptoms. Rhythmic muscle jerking, apparent blindness and slobbering are also indications that a case of canine distemper is severe.
Vets diagnose canine distemper with blood tests and urinalyses by checking for antibodies and lymphocytes. A vet will prescribe medicine, give intravenous fluids and antibiotics to treat the symptoms of canine distemper.
Canine Distemper – All About Distemper In Dogs, pets4homes.co.uk
Distemper in Dogs, petmd.com