In honor of Nation Immunization Awareness Month, we want to encourage you to discuss vaccinations with your veterinarian. We have heard about a reemergence of distemper due to pets not being vaccinated, and rabies is always a concern. Not sure exactly what these diseases (Distemper and Rabies) are? Read more:
Distemper: Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. The virus can be spread through the air and by direct or indirect contact with an infected animal. Initially, the virus will attack a dog’s tonsils and lymph nodes and then will replicate itself there for about one week at which point it will start to attack the respiratory, urogenital, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Distemper is often nicknamed the “hard pad disease” because of its ability to cause an abnormal enlargement or thickening of the pads of the animal’s feet.
The disease primarily affects dogs and certain species of wildlife such as wolves, foxes, raccoons and skunks. The common house pet, the ferret, is also a carrier of this virus. Young, unvaccinated puppies, and non-immunized older dogs, tend to be more susceptible to the disease. Early symptoms are fever, watery discharge from the nose and eyes along with ocular redness. The dog will often appear lethargic and/or tired, will typically not be interested in eating and develop a persistent cough. They will often also develop persistent GI signs including vomiting and diarrhea. Eventually, the dog’s nervous system will be affected resulting in symptoms such as seizures, paralysis and behavior changes such as hysteria.
Distemper can be diagnosed via blood work and urinalysis along with other differential diagnostics. Again, unfortunately there is no cure for canine distemper. Treatment for the disease is heavily focused on alleviating the symptoms. Your dog’s chances for surviving canine distemper will depend on the strain of the virus and the strength of your dog’s immune system. Although recovery is entirely possible, seizures and other fatal disturbances to the central nervous system can develop several months post recovery. Interestingly, fully recovered dogs do not spread or carry the virus.
Read more information about Distemper and Rabies at http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com