Dog Distemper Treatment – What Can I Do To Help My Dog?

Dog DistemperWhat is Distemper?

Distemper in dogs is one of the most dangerous diseases for dogs. Just like the flu, distemper is a virus. This virus is spread through similar channels as the flu as well. It can be transmitted in bodily secretions, drool or mucus, and other bodily fluids like blood or urine; it can even be spread in feces. Unlike the flu, though, distemper has been known to cause a grim prognosis for many pets. Dog distemper attacks many different systems in your dog’s body. Usually starting in the lymph nodes, the virus hitches a ride in the blood stream and makes its way through the body, all the way to the nervous system. Unfortunately, dog distemper usually isn’t caught until it reaches the nervous system, where it causes the worst damage. At this point even the most promising treatments have little or no effect.

How To Avoid It?

Dog distemper is easily avoided. First, just like there is a rabies vaccine for dogs, there is a distemper vaccine also. In many states this is a required vaccine, also just like the rabies vaccine. As with all vaccines, and all medicines, there is an occurrence of dog distemper vaccine side effects. These side effects are rare at most, and should not cause anyone to trade a risk of distemper in dogs for the off chance of side effects. Secondly, keep your pet away from others that have known dog health problems, this will greatly reduce chances of infection.

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Infected?

If your pet manages to catch dog distemper treatment will depend on the progress of the virus. Early infection stages have shown fairly promising results in ferrets treated with vitamin A, a common treatment for measles. Ferrets succumb to the same virus that causes dog distemper, and this virus is closely related to measles. Studies with dogs have yet to be conducted, but large doses of vitamin a are not harmful to dogs so it’s worth a try. Other treatments, like another measles treatment called ribavirin, showed less promise and are useless in the nervous system stages. In later stages of distemper it is, sadly, more important to focus on making your dog as comfortable as possible by treating symptoms and giving large doses of attention.