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Canine Distemper

Signs

Runny eyes & nose, coughing

These will often be primary signs that an infected dog displays. Pneumonia is a likely severe complication

Depression and diarrhoea

The dog will have a high fever and is likely to show a marked loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhoea

Hard pads

In the later stages of the disease, dogs might develop thickened, cracked and painful footpads and the nose

Runny eyes & nose, coughing

These will often be primary signs that an infected dog displays. Pneumonia is a likely severe complication

Density of Reports

The map shows the density of confirmed cases of distemper for the past three years.

This is not necessarily an indication of what areas the disease is more prevalent in, as the data captured by these labs is likely to be a small proportion of the suspected number of dogs that might be affected by the disease.

This is, however, an indication that this disease is present in the UK and if vaccination rates drop, we are likely to see an increase in the number of dogs being affected by this dangerous disease.

Speak to your vet about how to make sure your dog is protected against distemper

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How is it spread? 

The main source of infection is by inhalation of aerosol droplets during close dog-to-dog contact. Signs can take up to three weeks to appear. The virus cannot survive easily in the environment and can be killed by most household disinfectants.

Prevention and Control

It is essential to vaccinate your dog according to your vet's recommendations. Puppies that are born to vaccinated dogs usually have antibodies from their mothers (maternal antibodies) that protect them against infection during the first few weeks of their lives. The puppy is in danger after the level of maternal antibodies declines and that is when it should be vaccinated.

There is no specific treatment for canine distemper, although supportive therapy in the form of intravenous fluids are often given to correct the fluid loss due to vomiting and diarrhoea. The best form of protection against this virus is through vaccination. This disease can be vaccinated with a vaccine that offers immunity for three years.