Spotting the Symptoms of Distemper in Dogs
Spotting the Symptoms of Distemper Among Dogs
Canine distemper virus can be a scary diagnosis for the family dog. Distemper, which is caused by a virus in the Paramyxoviridae family, is closely related to the viruses that cause Measles in humans; they are a family of very dangerous viral contagions. Canine distemper symptoms can range from a simple sneeze to a very serious, life-threatening case of pneumonia. Being aware of the signs of distemper is vital; immediate treatment will be crucial to helping the dog's immune system while fighting the viral infection.
Mild Symptoms of Distemper
The following symptoms are among the mildest that are displayed by dogs infected with distemper. Sometimes, this viral infection may be confused with other less threatening illnesses due to the mild symptoms; generally, dogs that don't display the serious symptoms are either newly infected or have a strong immune system that was not compromised easily.
Coughing and Sneezing
As the canine distemper virus ravages the respiratory system, coughing and sneezing may begin to occur. The respiratory system attempts to clear the airways of infection, which may lead to longer, more frequent coughing or sneezing fits.
Nasal and Eye Discharge
Once the infection has strengthened, discharge may accompany other mild symptoms. Dogs may seem to feel more lethargic as the discharge worsens. However, the amount of discharge will vary with the strength of the dog's immune system and its overall health.
Hardened Pads and Nose
During and after distemper infection, the pads on the dog's paws and the skin around its nose may harden. This is one of a few potentially lifelong symptoms of canine distemper. Special care may be required during cold weather for dogs who experience thickened skin, as it may be prone to cracking.
Some dogs, especially puppies and elderly dogs, will encounter far more serious symptoms with the distemper virus. A young, old, or stressed immune system is very susceptible to a serious infection. These dogs will need special care in order to beat this viral disease.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
As the immune system struggles to fight, vomiting and diarrhea may settle in. This potentially dangerous cocktail will severely dehydrate the dog and starve it of vital nutrients. This is one of the more dangerous combinations of canine distemper symptoms, as a dog that displays both could weaken very quickly. Blood may also accompany diarrhea, signaling injury within the digestive tract. These dogs will need fluids and electrolytes to stay hydrated.
Vomiting tends to go hand in hand with a loss of appetite. If the dog continues to refuse food, it will only deteriorate in body condition and health; nourishing the body is vital for repairing the tissues on a cellular level in order to recover from the infection. If the dog refuses water, dehydration will become another dangerous symptom.
Pneumonia and/or Labored Breathing
If distemper in dogs becomes severe, crippling the immune system, secondary infections may take hold. Pneumonia is a very common and severe respiratory infection that is quite opportunistic, especially in dogs that succumbed to distemper. This infection will cause the alveoli, or air sacs, within the lungs to fill with pus. This fluid prevents the lungs from completing respiration effectively, reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches the body's organ systems. Pneumonia itself can become lethal if left untreated; dogs displaying both distemper and pneumonia symptoms are in a very dire state of health.
If the infection attacks the brain, a variety of neurological symptoms become possible. These symptoms can range from slight muscle twitches to repeated seizures with excessive salivation. Unfortunately, dogs that survive distemper tend to have lifelong, progressive neurological symptoms as they age.
Damage to Teeth
Enamel Hypoplasia is one of the most prevalent and permanent symptoms of canine distemper. It affects puppies whose adult teeth have not yet formed or erupted from the gums; the formation of the adult teeth is disrupted, resulting in damaged adult teeth that are quick to erode and deteriorate.
Canine distemper virus can cause a broad range of symptoms, all of which depend on the infected dog's health, body condition, age, immune system strength, and stage of infection. If an owner spots the infection quickly, the dog can be treated in a way that favors and boosts the health of the body and immune system, while alleviating symptoms.
There are cases that dogs can live somewhat comfortably with distemper. The symptoms can be managed and measures can be taken for each specific symptom. Natural and holistic medicines are available as well as prescriptions. However, it is essential to put in the effort to boost your pets immune system. Diet and exercise are factors but you can also add an immune booster to your pet's regiment. Prana Pets offers an all-natural immune booster which is recommended, but you can also use one specifically recommended by your vet.
CBD can provide relief for a pet suffering from Distemper. It can ease symptoms, specifically, CBD can ease any issues in the central nervous system. It can also help with your pets overall well being. By no means is CBD a cure, but CBD Oil does affect the central nervous system which can be damaged due to the distemper virus. Dogs can recover from Distemper, but there can be long-term damage. Specific measures and medicines can be used but the best method is an immune booster and possibly another herbal supplement. I especially recommend CBD Oil.