What is Dog Distemper?

Canine distemper ranks among the greatest perils to the world's dog population.  It primarily strikes young dogs, typically affecting those below one year old.  Among pups the mortality rate caused by distemper is around 80 percent.  The disease also attacks unvaccinated matured dogs. More than 50 percent of the full-grown dogs that get the disease die from it. And even if a dog does not die from distemper, its health could be permanently impaired.  Blindness in one or both eyes could result from discharges striking the cornea.  The same discharges sometimes leave the dog deaf or impair its sense of smell. Permanent damage to the nervous system may cause chorea (muscle twitching), convulsions, partial or absolute paralysis.

Canine Distemper is caused by an airborne virus.  It could be picked up by the dog that comes in contact with mucus and watery secretions from the eyes and noses of contaminated dogs, and also from contact with these dog's urine and feces.  A healthy dog can be infected with distemper even without direct contact with the infected animal. Kennels, runs, bedding and practically everything touched by a dog with distemper could spread the infection—this includes the hands, feet, and garments of the person handling the sick dog.

Read more on Canine Distemper:  Canine Distemper: Symptoms and Treatments

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