Distemper is a disease that can affect dogs, foxes, and many other canid species; however, it’s most often observed among domestic dogs. It spreads through contact with infected respiratory secretions from other dogs or wild animals, as well as through contaminated equipment or surfaces.

Dogs suffering from distemper typically display a fever and other symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the nose and eyes which may look like pus-like mucus or greenish water.

These symptoms may last for a few days or weeks and resolve on their own without the need for medical intervention. However, they could also indicate secondary infections and dehydration.

If you believe your dog may have distemper, it’s essential to take them to a veterinarian immediately. They can perform tests to confirm the diagnosis by swabbing their eyes and nose for viruses or performing a blood test.

Most often, your vet will prescribe supportive care to treat the disease. This could include fluid therapy, antibiotics, and keeping your pup warm. They’ll also be monitoring for any changes that require additional treatments or adjustments.

The aim of treatment is to halt the progression of the disease and help your dog recover as quickly as possible. This necessitates proper nursing care, isolation from other dogs, and a veterinary hospital that will monitor your pet’s progress closely.

Distemper in dogs usually begins with a fever and cough that accompany nasal and eye discharge. Over time, your pup will become weaker and lose their appetite; they may also develop vomiting and diarrhea, which leave them dehydrated.

Other signs of the disease may include lethargy, decreased appetite, and anorexia. Unfortunately, some dogs succumb to this illness.

Respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms may persist for weeks to months after the initial infection, depending on the strain of the virus and your dog’s immune system. During this time, the virus could infiltrate into your pup’s nervous system, causing neurological signs like circling, head tilts, paralysis, or twitching.

Some animals can develop encephalitis, leading to brain swelling and ultimately death. That’s why it’s essential for your pup to receive a vaccination against distemper.

Canine distemper is caused by a paramyxovirus, one of several viruses found in various animal species. This virus also causes other illnesses like virulent Newcastle disease in birds and rinderpest in cattle.

Preventing distemper in dogs is the most effective way to ensure they receive a full vaccination series against it as puppies. This approach has been recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association and will shield your pup from virus damage.

Your puppy’s initial vaccination should be given between 6-8 weeks old, and they will require booster shots every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks old. After that, they should receive a booster shot annually or more frequently as necessary.