What is distemper? Should I keep my animals apart if one has it?

Asked by Crystal

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Distemper is a very nasty viral infection in dogs. It causes significant illness and can be fatal. There is no specific treatment for the condition and vets can only support an infected dog and keep them as comfortable as possible and hope they survive.

Distemper is spread through the air from infected bodily fluids but it can also be caught through direct contact and can be carried on utensils or by a dog owner on their hands and clothes. Initial symptoms will be high temperatures, a runny nose and lethargy. As the disease progresses the dog can develop vomiting, diarrhoea and the virus can invade the brain, causing seizures. Survival depends on how strong the dog’s immune system is but even if they live through the initial infection, some will succumb to neurological complications two to three months later.

The only prevention for Distemper is vaccination. In the UK, distemper is included in your dog’s regular injections and it is generally repeated every 3 years.

If you have a dog who is diagnosed with Distemper, it will be very important to keep them away from other pets, particularly dogs (even if they are vaccinated) and ferrets, if you have them, as they can also be infected by the virus. | 02.24.16 @ 12:20
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 11.22.17 @ 21:55
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