Here’s What You Need to Know About Distemper in Dogs

Hearing the words Canine Distemper can raise goosebumps on any dog parents’ arms. This viral disease can prove to be deadly if not diagnosed and treated in time and the CD vaccine is one of the most important ones. The disease affects your dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, and the conjunctival membranes of the eyes.

The disease is spread through dog-to-dog contact or direct contact with an affected dog’s saliva, urine, or blood. It is contagious especially if the dogs share toys, bowls, a bed, etc. Hence, it is a good idea to isolate dogs with Canine Distemper from their furry friends.

What is Canine Distemper and Why Should I Be Worried?

Canine distemper is a life-threatening viral disease that, as mentioned earlier, spreads through direct contact, placenta, or airborne exposure to the virus. Being a viral disease, it is very good at spreading, which is why the Canine Distemper vaccine is now considered a core vaccination by top vets. The virus that causes this disease is called the Paramyxovirus which is related to the Measles virus found in humans.

The problem with CD is that it affects multiple critical systems of dog’s body, thereby making it difficult to treat. This is why preventative measures are taken so strictly.

The Symptoms of Distemper in Dogs

As the disease advances, the symptoms change accordingly. For ease and diagnosis, the disease is divided into two stages.

Stage 1 of Canine Distemper

The common symptoms observed in Stage 1 include:

  • Watery discharge from eyes
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Discharge from the nose
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Anorexia
  • Pustular dermatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting and nausea

If the disease has advanced beyond 3-6 days, you may also observe hardened nose and paw pads as a result of hyperkeratosis. Walking may be uncomfortable for your dog at this point. As the disease further progresses, the immune system may get compromised, causing additional viral diseases.

You can identify a comorbid viral infection if you see the following symptoms:

  • Pneumonia
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Changes in breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Stage 2 of Canine Distemper

The common symptoms observed in Stage 2 include:

  • Circling
  • Head tilt
  • Full or partial paralysis
  • Mouth twitching
  • Seizures
  • Rapid eye movement or Nystagmus
  • Convulsions
  • Death

If not caught in time, the disease can be fatal or have severe irreparable damage.

Treatment Options Available

Treatment Options Available

The scary thing about Canine Distemper is that there isn’t a cure for the condition, which means that the treatment is largely symptomatic. It all depends on how early it is caught.

With a combination of lab tests, a vet diagnoses the condition and gets started with supportive therapy. Infected are generally hospitalized and kept in isolation wards to ensure they don’t affect others. If your dog has a fever, he’s given medicine for that, if he’s in pain, he’ll get pain pills. CBD oil, too, is a good way to manage Canine Distemper symptoms. Why this oil works for this disease can be found at Also, you can find some awesome home remedies in this article to treat this unwanted condition.

The Fool-proof Method

To date, hundreds of dogs lose their lives to Canine Distemper because it is usually too late by the time they’re diagnosed with the condition. However, that can be changed if you get your dog vaccines against the virus.

Since it is related to the Measles virus, Distemper is equally infectious and fatal. However, as with the Measles virus, there’s a vaccine available that provides your dog with fool-proof protection.

You should avoid taking your puppy out to dog parks before it gets his vaccine. Click here to get more information on it.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  1. Ensure that your dog has completed all batches of the vaccine
  2. Make sure that all his vaccines are up to date
  3. Try to keep your furry friend away from wildlife and infected dogs
  4. Do not socialize your puppy if he hasn’t been vaccinated

In Conclusion

Distemper is a serial illness that has killed millions of dogs. The disease has no cure and only symptomatic treatments are available to help resolve nausea, vomiting, fever, pain, etc. CBD oil is an effective treatment option available to you and has no side effects.

To keep your dog protected from this virus, you should vaccinate him against it.