- The disease is often fatal with a mortality rate of 50% in adult dogs and 80% in puppies
- Research suggests that the disease is second to rabies when it comes to virus-induced fatality in dogs
- pets affected by the diseases shed the virus for 60 – 90 days after the symptoms discontinue, so containment is vital
Eurovets a leading distributor of veterinary products and solutions to all animal segments is advising people of the Canine Distemper Virus after a rising number of cases reported in the UAE. Canine Distemper is a contagious and serious disease affecting dogs. The disease can be fatal with a mortality rate of 50% in adult dogs and 80% in puppies.
The virus is extremely contagious in dogs. Puppies that haven’t been vaccinated are at the highest risk of getting Distemper. Symptoms include watery/pus-like eye discharge, fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, vomiting, tremors/ticks, problems with balancing or walking and seizures. The virus can be contracted from direct contact and from an animal coughing or sneezing. Shared food, water bowls and other shared items can also spread the virus.
Research suggests that the disease is second to rabies when it comes to virus-induced fatality in dogs. The terminal stage for Canine Distemper is usually 2-4 weeks after infection; however, it can last several months in older patients. Few pets who survive Distemper can have permanent nervous system damage such as chorea (persistent nervous muscular twitches) and seizures. These pets also shed the virus for 60 – 90 days after the symptoms discontinue, so containment is vital.
While there are no specific measures or treatments for Distemper, preventing the disease by getting dogs vaccinated is crucial. Also, regular checks on ensuring the pets are immunized are critical.
Eurovets recommends the following for pet owners:
- Vaccinate: Canine Distemper Vaccine is a part of the annual vaccination list for all dogs. Eurovets suggests performing VacciCheck Titer Test to indicate antibody levels of the core canine vaccine. This Titer test is also designed to determine protective immunity in dogs. Eurovets offers VacciCheck through its product portfolio from Biogal.
- Biosecurity – Distemper Virus can spread rapidly through direct contact with an infected pet or through airborne exposure. Hence, it is important for pet owners to maintain high-level biosecurity measures around dogs living environment. Eurovets suggests using F10 disinfectant range, as these are highly effective in preventing major canine viruses. The efficacy of F10 disinfectants helps maintain the required biosecurity levels around pets. F10 Ready to Use Disinfectant is a pre-diluted disinfectant product for easy use and quick results. It is available at major pet shops across UAE for consumer use.
- Protect Unvaccinated: Be careful when interacting with other dogs and around common areas like parks and care facilities.
While the above is essential it is to be noted that your pet’s vaccination must be up to date. Dog owners must ensure pet’s bedding and living area are kept clean and always disinfected. Maintain a balanced diet for your pet and ensure they stay well hydrated to fight infections.