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Canine distemper (CDV)

Canine distemper is a viral disease affecting animals in the families Canidae, Mustelidae, Mephitidae, Procyonidae, Pinnipedia and possibly Felidae (though not domestic cats; feline distemper or panleukopenia is a virus exclusive to cats). It is most commonly associated with domestic animals such as dogs, although ferrets are also vaccinated for it.
Dogs from four months to four years old are particularly susceptible. Canine distemper virus (CDV) spreads through the air and through contact with infected bodily fluids, including food and water contaminated with these fluids. The time between infection and disease is 14 to 18 days, although there can be a fever from three to six days post infection.

Symptoms

- Dullness and redness of the eye
- Discharge from nose
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Cough
- Shivering
- Fever
- Loss of appetite and energy
- Weight loss
- Seizures
- Thickened footpads
- Tooth enamel hypoplasia
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light)

Diagnosis
The above symptoms, especially fever, respiratory signs, neurological signs, and thickened footpads found in unvaccinated dogs strongly indicate canine distemper. Finding the virus by various methods in the dog's conjunctival cells gives a definitive diagnosis.


Treatment and prevention


There is no specific treatment for canine distemper. The dog should be treated by a veterinarian, usually with antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections, intravenous fluids, and nutritional supplements. The prognosis is poor.

There exist a number of vaccines against canine distemper for dogs and domestic ferrets, which in many jurisdictions are mandatory for pets. The type of vaccine should be approved for the type of animal being inoculated, or else the animal could actually contract the disease from the vaccine. Animals should be quarantined if infected. The virus is destroyed in the environment by routine cleaning with disinfectants, detergents, or drying. It does not survive in the environment for more than a few hours at room temperature (20-25 °C), but can survive for a few weeks at temperatures slightly above freezing.

 

 

 


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About Your Dog, is your online ressource of articles on puppy and dog health, dog training and information about your pet dog