Thursday, October 22, 2009

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) in Dogs

The distemper virus (CDV) causes a highly contagious disease in dogs known as distemper. Dogs who contract distemper suffer damage to their gastrointestinal, central nervous system and respiratory tract. Distemper is incurable and often fatal.

Puppies between three and six months are most susceptible, although older dogs and other carnivorous mammals also contract distemper. At one time, distemper was the leading cause of death in puppies that had not been vaccinated. Since the distemper vaccine was in the early 60s, cases of death and disease associated with canine distemper significantly decreased.

CDV is transmitted through the air viral particles that dogs inhale. Infected dogs also shed the virus through bodily secretions and excretions. In this way it is easy for an infected dog to cause infection of another dog.

Distemper causes a multitude of different symptoms respiratory symptoms and gastro-intestinal disorders of the central nervous system to adopt. In fact, dogs that die from distemper actually die from central nervous complications caused by the disease or secondary bacterial infections.

Diagnosis distemper is difficult for a veterinarian for diagnosis, blood tests are not useful for detecting the presence of CDV. Diagnosis, success often hinges on the decision of the comparative disorders whose symptoms can often suggest the presence of CDV.

Because there is no cure for distemper, treatment of the disease is favorable and veterinarian will try to relieve the symptoms of the best way to deal with. A clean, warm, and the project should be established and maintained to ensure that the dog as comfortable as possible. The eyes and nose free of discharge, and medication to treat diarrhea should be administered. Dogs suffering from distemper must be given plenty of fluids to help reduce fever and prevent dehydration. Other symptoms are treated as they appear if possible.

Like any viral disease, prevention is a much better option and more effective than treatment and the best option is vaccination during the first weeks of life. Vaccination against distemper creates lasting immunity against the virus, but it is not permanent. Annual vaccination is recommended to maintain immunity of the dog distemper. Most puppies are given vaccinations distemper vaccine along with vaccines for various diseases.


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