Distemper

Distemper

The distemper virus causes a very serious illness, highly contagious, which can be fatal.

Young animals are most susceptible to being infected because of their under-developed immune system, although adult dogs that have not been vaccinated or that have been exposed to stressful situations can be affected too.

The virus infects generally the digestive, respiratory and nervous system, producing a variety of symptoms that will also depend on the state of the immune system of the dog. The symptoms vary from cough, nasal secretion, fever and diarrhea, even shaking and convulsions of the worst sort.

It is contagious through nasal secretion and urine from infected dogs. An animal that is recuperating from this illness will carry on being infectious during 60 – 90 days until the virus is eliminated.

To prevent catching this illness we recommend correct vaccination of puppies during the risk period, when the maternal immunity disappears. A correct protocol would be:

  • 1st vaccine at the age of 6 – 8 weeks old.
  • 2nd vaccine at the age of 10 – 12 weeks old.
  • 3rd vaccine at the age of 14- 16 weeks old.

It is important to have the 3 vaccines to be sure to promote a good immunization against the virus, as just one vaccine does not guarantee total protection. After that the dog will have to be vaccinated once per year.

In the case of kennels, where there are a bigger concentration of animals and, of course, a bigger possibility to contract the illness, we recommend a high standard of cleanliness and disinfection.

In the case of the appearance of symptoms, the vet will give treatment to alleviate the discomfort for the animal.