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Canine Distemper And Its Facts

Canine Distemper is a viral disease that affects domestic animals such as ferrets and dogs but is also known to be present within wild animals as well. This disease is a single stranded virus which renders it a close relative to measles. It is said the domesticated dog is what has introduced this disease to wild animals and now causes a serious threat to many species of carnivores.

Puppies three to six weeks old seem to be the most susceptible to this disease and spreads through contact with body fluids six to twenty two days from exposure. Another avenue of concern with the spread of this disease is the food and water of the infected animals, which is infected through bodily fluids. The time between infection and disease is fourteen to eighteen days. This canine virus tends to affect the lymphatic and nervous system tissues and usually replicates in the lymphatic tissues of the respiratory track. The results of this infection include respiratory, gastrointestinal, central nervous system and optic nerve symptoms which are immunosuppression, pneumonia, encephalitis, and hyperkeratosis of the foot pads. Puppies have the highest mortality rate from this disease although it directly depends upon the strength of the immune system in each case.

Gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms include runny nose, diarrhea and vomiting, dehydration, excessive salivation, coughing, weightloss, and loss of appetite. Neurological symptoms include twitching of muscles, excessive salivation during seizures and jaw movements. As the disease progresses, seizures worsen and change to grand mal seizures followed by death. Some other symptoms are sensitivity to light, circling, incoordination, and deterioration of movement capabilities. It has been noted that it can lead to blindness and paralysis but this is not common.

Source: Internet

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