Canine distemper is rare these days, and it takes a little time to get a definite diagnosis from the vet. The reason: the symptoms can express themselves very differently, and only a smear brings reliable results. You can read about diagnosis and treatment here.
If your dog shows symptoms such as a strong cough, purulent nasal discharge, gastrointestinal problems, fever and weakness, these can be possible indications of distemper. Therefore, your veterinarian will first ask whether your four-legged friend has been fully immunized and regularly vaccinated because the distemper vaccination is normally part of the standard protection.
Distemper in dogs: This is how the veterinarian makes the diagnosis
If the dog is not vaccinated against distemper, it may be that your darling has been infected with the dog’s disease. And even despite vaccination, the infection can occur in individual cases. To make a reliable diagnosis, the veterinarian will take a swab of the mucous membranes. With the help of various laboratory tests, the distemper virus can be detected from the fifth day and up to three weeks after infection.
This is how distemper in dogs is treated.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the animal must be confirmed
should be taken to a veterinary clinic for treatment. Canine distemper is particularly dangerous for young or generally debilitated animals because there is no direct treatment for the distemper virus and stopping its spread. Instead, the symptoms associated with the disease are treated. With the administration of infusions and antibiotics, an attempt is also made to strengthen the animal and alleviate its suffering. This is also intended to prevent further bacterial infections.
Treatment at home: Nursing the dog back to health in your own home
If the dog is allowed back into your home, it should be kept away from other unvaccinated animals for further treatment to avoid infecting them. The veterinarian will inform you about all the necessary hygienic conditions that you should observe at home. But what your dog needs most of all is lots of love and warmth. Also, make sure he drinks enough water and gently clean his nose and eyes.
Distemper in dogs: This is the prognosis
If distemper in dogs is recognized and treated early, the prognosis is generally good. The prerequisite, however, is that the disease has not progressed too severely. Unfortunately, if the distemper virus affects the nervous system, treatment can also be unsuccessful. Central nervous disorders such as movement disorders, seizures or impaired vision, smell, and hearing can be caused by distemper in dogs. The vet will then advise the owner to put the cat down in many cases. To keep the risk for your dog as low as possible, it is best to have your pet vaccinated against the disease from the outset.