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Ask the Vet About Canine Distemper in Dogs

Canine Distemper in Dogs
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Canine Distemper in Dogs
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 70
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Date: Aug 12, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: frequency of FVRCP in indoor only cats

Question:I have been hearing varying recommendations regarding the FVRCP vaccine in indoor only adult cats. My cats are the only cats in the four unit building and there are doors to enter the building in addition to my door so escaping into the outdoors from the second floor would be practically impossible. My cats are never boarded and do not come into contact with other pets aside from each other. I have been told that given their living/lifestyle circumstances, the FVRCP could be given every 2-3 years by our new vet. However, I have also been told that once a year is the routine for all cats by my last vet. I do not want to over vaccinate my cats if it is unnecessary. Could you provide some insight, please?

Answer:Once every 3 years is the recommendation for your cats based on their lifestyle.

Date: Aug 6, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Distemper in Puppies

Question:Hi, Last thursday I took my 10 week old puppy to the vet, we found out Saturday that he has distemper, it is now the following Tuesday. He will eat only eat chicken I cook but he eats it every meal and pretty much all of it. He drinks pedialyte and water and sometimes we give him water and pedialyte by syringe just to be sure. We put him in a room during the day and at night with a humidifier. He only has maybe 2 cough fits a day. His temperature is normal. He is very active now.. Do these seem like he is getting better? -A very concerned new puppy owner

Answer:It does sound like he is getting over the respiratory part of the disease. Some dogs will seem better and then break with neurologic symptoms, which are much more worrisome and can be fatal. If you are in the United States, Distemper is really rare so he may just have a cold from another virus/pathogen. Here is a link to a good article about Distemper, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952099

Date: Jul 22, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Is her dog going to die

Question:My mother¿s dog recently collapsed we thought it was from the heat we got her cooled down and she seemed fine till a couple days ago she started diarrhea and throwing up couldn¿t hold food down and was rapidly breathing head shakes every so often and couldn¿t walk very well. Took her to the vet they said she has tick disease and heartworm and is currently being tested for distemper which the vet thinks she has. She¿s currently in vets care get treatments but my question is will she survive? Or should my mother put her down? The dog was a stray she took in two years ago had her spayed and all her shots everything. What¿s her chance of survival? Will she always have the head shakes and unable to walk right if she has distemper?

Answer:All of those are questions that are only answered (well) by the veterinarian who is looking directly at her and knows the actual diagnosis (probably not Distemper if she has been vaccinated) and the severity of her symptoms and what her blood work looks like etc etc.

Date: Jun 14, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Distemper

Question:My half lab half boxer puppy is 7 months old yesterday morning he woke up with green discharge coming from one eye he still has it today discharge Green from his left eye he doesn't have diarrhea he's eating and drinking water normally I can't get him to the vet until the 23rd of this month what should I do do you think he has distemper?

Answer:Distemper can start like that but if you are in the United States and/or if he has been vaccinated, Distemper is very rare. Allergic conjunctivitis is probably the most common reason but there are others as well so see your veterinarian if it continues or worsens.

Date: May 30, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Canine Distemper

Question:Hi! My Dog is not eating for 5 days now. But she keeps on drinking water and she's a little bit energetic now. But few days back she's really ill. She had fever, she loss her appetite, she's weak, and she had colds.. Is this symptoms of canine distemper? And regards with her condition is she recovering now? I kept on giving her antibiotics and Vit. C.

Answer:It's hard to say exactly what is going on - could be distemper, could be many other problems. Distemper usually has more upper respiratory symptoms, but that might be what you meant by "colds". Definitely have your veterinarian check her out because she hasn't eaten in 5 days.

Date: May 23, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Canine distemper

Question:My dog, 5 months puppy got infected with canine distemper. He is having seziures, involuntary body movements and make noise all day long. But eating and drinking water 6-7 times. We consulted a vet doc. He gave IV and few medicine - 1) Gardinal 3.5 ml twice daily 2) neuroqik 5ml twice daily 3) mysoline half tablet once a day. 4) immunol twice a day Please tell me what are her chances of recovery. Can she still recover, we started medicine from 15th may, 2019.

Answer:In the United States, we really don't see Distemper much at all anymore - the last case I saw was 15 years ago, so I'm not familiar with any of those medications, so work with your veterinarian in your country, who sees & treats the virus a lot more than I do and can better guess about his/her prognosis.

Date: May 18, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Stage 2 Canine Distemper.

Question:My dog has a stage 2 canine distemper. She can no longer stand and has skin disease. She is very weak and can no longer eat or even drink water, she can only drink when I dropper water into her mouth. However, I cannot bring him to the vet. due to lack of financial aid. Can she recover at home while I nurse her here? Is distemper painful for her? and how long can she last if remained untreated from professionals?

Answer:Without examining her, it is impossible for me to really guess about all of your questions, but in general, if she definitely has distemper and she's that bad, recovery is not likely. Many conditions can mimic distemper so be sure of her diagnosis. Her odds are better at the veterinarian but still bad if she has distemper.

Date: May 16, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Distemper

Question:Hello doc, my dog is having muscle tremors, discharge from the eyes and nose. But he's eating and drinking well. What can i do to help him? Is there any medication to give him?

Answer:You filed this question under Distemper so I am going to assume your dog has been diagnosed with Distemper. Your veterinarian will have better treatment options than I can even recommend probably because we just don't see (and treat) Distemper in the United States, so work closely with your veterinarian in your country. Here is a link to our article about treating Distemper: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/canine-distemper-treatment-dogs-49.htm And here is a link to a good article about Distemper, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952099

Date: May 13, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Distemper with repiratory problems

Question:Hi doc, my dog has been diagnosed woth distemper and has been having eye and nasal dicharge. He's also having some kind of muscle contractions. He has just started been vaccinated last week and he's an 8 months old puppy. What can i do to help him recover? The vet prescribed some augmentin adult and a liv.52 for him. And she also gave him a vaccine called amox. Will my dog recover?

Answer:It is impossible for me to guess if he will live, especially without seeing him. Add to that, we really don't see Distemper in the United States much at all any more, so consult your veterinarian for the best advice about treatment and prognosis. Here is a link to a good article about distemper, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952099

Date: May 13, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Distemper

Question:How can i help my dog to recover from distemper? Will a dog having seizures from distemper recover from it? He has been eating, walking normal.

Answer:In general, unfortunately, once they begin to show neurologic signs, they will usually die from the virus. Here is a link to a good article about distemper, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952099

Date: May 12, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Day of Distemper Symptoms

Question:Hello, Our 12 week old golden retriever had a day of symptoms consistent with distemper: lack of appetite (only ate a bit of her food in the morning and nothing for the rest of the day), no energy, vomiting, diarrhea and green discharge from her eyes. But for the past 2 days, following her day of symptoms, she's been full of energy and has her appetite back, hasn't vomited, and has slightly more normal poops. But the green eye discharge is still present, and seems like it's only gotten slightly better. She's gotten her vaccinations for distemper so far. Is it likely that she fought off the infection or should we still be concerned? Could the symptoms return?

Answer:It is hard to say at this point - distemper has a mucosal phase that affects the upper respiratory tract that can seem to get better and then a neurologic phase that is more severe and potentially fatal can be 1-3 weeks later. The fact that she has had a couple of vaccines before she got sick is encouraging - the vaccines protect them well usually, depending on which one she got and if it had time to stimulate her immunity. If it did, she may just have a cold caused by a different pathogen. See your veterinarian if her symptoms continue. Here is a link to a good article about distemper, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952099

Date: May 5, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: distemper recovery

Question:my dog diagnosed with distemper 2months ago, now he's eating well since we bring him to a vet 2months ago and gained weight. but he's eyes is conjunctivitis. is he recovering or still fighting?

Answer:If it has been 2 months, he is probably recovering. Have your veterinarian recheck him if he doesn't improve.

Date: Apr 26, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: My dog can not walk anymore

Question:We recently had to put down our German shepherd due to distemper and my other dog has it also now and she can not walk at all.... will she get better? My vet suggests putting her down?

Answer:Once dogs show neurologic signs like that from distemper, they rarely recover - as long as that is what they have - distemper is actually very rare in the United States.

Date: Apr 11, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Deworm and flea n tick treatment

Question:Should I deworm before a flea n tick treatment? My cat is 2 yrs old with an extended stomach.The Vet sent me home with a dewormer treatment and said no sign of fleas but to do a flea treatment then 2 weeks later do a deworm treatment. But I feel I should apply the deworm treatment ASAP? What do u suggest?

Answer:I can't figure out why they told you that - did they give a dewormer while he was there? Some worms need another dose 2-4 weeks later, so you may need to wait, so call and ask them why they said to wait.

Date: Mar 24, 2019
Category: Distemper
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Vaccinations

Question:I have a dog in my household who is not vaccinated. A friend asked me to watch her puppy, which needs the second distemper shots (the puppy has all his others shots). Will the unvaccinated dog be okay to be around the puppy immediately after or does the second shot take a couple hours or days to work?

Answer:Vaccines are to build the puppies immune system up, not to keep him from shedding a virus your dog may get so if the puppy is healthy and your dog is healthy, it should be fine for them to be around each other. Neither one of them, especially the puppy, should go to "high dog traffic areas" until they are finished with their shot series - parvo can live in the ground for up to a couple of years, so they don't even have to come into contact with another dog.


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