How does canine distemper affect the intestine? How does canine distemper affect the respiratory tract and mucous membranes? How does canine distemper affect the brain? How does canine distemper affect the skin? How does canine distemper affect the eye and other organs? How canine does distemper affect the joints and bones? Can animals show minimal or no disease signs of distemper?
This section discusses the methods of testing for distemper and their pros and cons. Blood smears — visualising viral inclusion bodies. Canine distemper antibodies in brain and eye fluid. Tests of the future — PCR and tissue culture. What is the prognosis for distemper? How to prevent distemper in high risk situations?
How do you disinfect the environment following distemper contamination? Summary and take home messages — a summary of the important points. WARNING — IN THE INTERESTS OF PROVIDING YOU WITH COMPLETE AND DETAILED INFORMATION, THIS SITE DOES CONTAIN MEDICAL AND SURGICAL IMAGES THAT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS. Nasal discharge from a dog with pneumonia. Such secretions could shed canine distemper virus particles into the environment, feed dishes and water bowls, where they could infect other dogs. Canine distemper affected animals will also present with non-specific signs of illness: fever, lethargy, inappetence and dehydration.
All of these symptoms are discussed in section 4 of this article. Importantly, it must be mentioned that not every case of canine distemper presenting to a veterinarian will display all of these organ symptoms at once. Most Australian inner city veterinarians with under 10 years of experience will almost certainly have never encountered a case. Very occasionally, we will see outbreaks of canine distemper disease in inner city, very low socioeconomic areas and also in dog breeding facilities and greyhound facilities and, again, this is usually because standards of vaccination, hygiene and quarantine protocols have not been upkept. Which animals are at risk of canine distemper? Generally young, unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated puppies, under 6 months of age, are most susceptible to canine distemper virus. Our next section discusses the environmental distemper risks and where dogs get distemper from, in full.
Ferrets and other members of the weasel family are also at risk of contracting distemper, either from the environment or from other sick dogs and ferrets. Similar to the situation seen in dogs, vaccination of these animals is key to prevention of disease. Contrary to common belief, canine distemper does not affect cats. CDV has been administered to domestic cats experimentally, but no disease signs were seen. CDV has been known to cause neurological disease. A lot has been written about ‘feline distemper’ on the internet, however, the disease that cat fanciers commonly nickname feline distemper or cat distemper is actually a parvo virus disease termed feline panleukopenia. We will be bringing you the cat vaccine pages as soon as we can.
Where do dogs get canine distemper from? Eye secretions from a dog with distemper can be infectious to other animals. Animals that are unvaccinated or inappropriately vaccine protected can become sick if they ingest vomit, urine, feces, eye or respiratory secretions contaminated with infective distemper virus particles. Even though overt consumption of feces and vomit etc. As an owner, you might not even realise that there was contamination present. The droplets are so small that, when the next dog inhales them, these droplets will penetrate deeply into the smallest air passages of the lungs.
It is possible for dogs to also ingest infectious distemper viral particles when they lick the shoes, hands or clothes of a human that has been in hands-on contact with an affected animal. Those hands and clothes may look clean, but still contain infectious distemper particles. Biting and licking the fur of infected animals may also result in infection. Likewise, although distemper particles can be shed into the general environment in the feces and vomit etc. This is a consideration for those of you who come from cold climates or who have kennels and breeding facilities in cold climates. You will need to be more vigilant with regard to disinfecting contaminated premises and with regard to keeping your puppies isolated from infection until they are completely vaccine protected. As veterinarians, we still advise, of course, that you do not take your puppy out into the public arena or take him out to meet other dogs until after he is fully vaccinated and protected. Obviously, some environments are more risky than others. The main time that you will see the spread of distemper from dog to dog in places like veterinary clinics comes when the veterinarian or pet shop owner has not recognized the signs of distemper and not thought to isolate the animal from other people’s susceptible pets. This sounds horrible, but distemper is, unfortunately, an easy disease to misdiagnose.