Canine Distemper – Prevent Don’t Treat
By Dr. Jennifer Coates
Canine distemper used to be very common in North America but is now mostly involved in smaller, local outbreaks or diagnosed in shelter situations. However, any dog who is not fully vaccinated is still at risk for developing this potentially fatal disease.
Canine distemper is highly contagious. Dogs with distemper shed the virus in their urine, saliva, and respiratory secretions. Virus particles from the environment can then enter the body of a susceptible dog through the mouth or nose and travel through the lymphatic and circulatory systems to invade the respiratory tract, eyes, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and nervous system.