Distemper is a contagious, febrile, general viral disease with various organ manifestations.
Infected dogs excrete the pathogen with all excreta and secretions. It is absorbed by air or orally. The virus then reaches the lymphatic tissue of the throat or the bronchial lymph nodes and multiplies there. After three to four days, the pathogens are released into the blood (viremic stage). At that point, the virus is also found in the spleen, lymph nodes, thymus, and bone marrow. If the dog does not produce enough antibodies, the virus is found in the entire epithelium of the respiratory, digestive and urogenital tracts, the skin, the glands and finally also in the central nervous system.
The incubation period is 3 to 7 days. The signs of illness then begin very quickly with a high fever, hair loss, loss of appetite and fatigue up to the inability to move. In the event of a secondary infection, another fever attack occurs. The nervous form of distemper is the most feared. This leads to damage to the brain and thus to psychological changes, tremors, paralysis, seizures and balance disorders.
The severity of the symptoms depends on the individual and thus the severity of the disease also varies. The nervous form ends fatally in any case. In order to avoid the infection of other dogs and to end the suffering of the sick dog, it must be put to sleep.
The only effective way to counteract this disease is through vaccination. The primary vaccination should take place in the eighth week, after which the re-vaccination then takes place in the twelfth to sixteenth week. The vaccination protection must then be refreshed annually.
BabesiosisBorreliosisCanine parvovirusHepatitis contagiosa canisInfectious tracheobronchitisLeishmaniasis LeptospirosisPseudo angerDaupeRabies