All About Pet Viruses: How Common Is Distemper?

One of the most lethal viruses a pet could contract is Distemper. It is a highly contagious virus that is commonly found in dogs and a wide variety of mammals. But, how common is distemper?

This virus is common, especially for dogs who are denied proper health care, which increases their probability of contracting such dangerous viruses. This article will serve as an answer as to how common distemper is, and a guide as to what canine distemper is.

What is Canine Distemper?

Canine distemper is a highly contagious virus caused by paramyxovirus, targeting the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and the nervous system of dogs.

Whether it is a puppy or an adult dog, the risk of acquiring distemper is not certain.

Distemper in dogs is incredibly lethal and necessary protections such as proper vaccination for distemper is highly encouraged.

Can Humans Contract Distemper?

The answer is no. Canine distemper does not harm humans in any way, but it could be spread through contacts with other animals.

Canine distemper is transmitted through direct contact with infected animals. It could also be spread through airborne exposure.

What are the Symptoms of Distemper in Dogs?

Symptoms of distemper in dogs usually take up to 14 days to show after being infected. Here are the 10 common symptoms of distemper in dogs:

1. Fever

2. Nasal Discharge

3. Coughing

4. Breathing problems

5. Diarrhea

6. Lack of appetite

7. Vomiting

8. Depression

9. Seizures

10. Crusting of nose and foot pads

11. Pneumonia

Is Distemper Curable?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for canine distemper. It is indeed a sad news for dog owners, but know that there’s still hope at the end of the tunnel.

There are numerous ways you could provide care and support for your beloved ball of sunshine. With patience and proper care, you could elevate your dog’s quality of life.

Treatments for Canine Distemper

Although canine distemper is incurable, there are ways you could provide symptom treatment and supportive care for your furry pet.

Always keep in mind to refer to your trusted veterinarian for your dog’s diagnosis. 

Lighter Symptoms

  • Vomit control– To treat dog vomiting, use the antibiotics prescribed by your dog’s veterinarian to lessen the vomiting of your dog.
  • Pain relievers– Dogs with distemper usually ache all over. Give the necessary amount of pain relievers to ease your dog’s discomfort or pain.
  • Diarrhea control– Use the treatment prescribed by your dog’s veterinarian to control and prevent your dog from having diarrhea.
  • Dehydration control– Keep your dog hydrated. If your dog vomits frequently or has diarrhea, your dog would be dehydrated if the fluids lost in their bodies are not replenished.

Severe Symptoms:

  • Neurological support– If your dog has a distemper and it is quite severe, they are prone to seizures which affects their neurological functionality. They would need hospitalization for monitoring in case seizures recur.
  • Respiratory support– Dogs with distemper would have breathing difficulty which could be life-threatening – especially for the pneumatic dogs. Always be ready to dial your trusted veterinarian in case of severe breathing problems in your dog.

Canine Distemper Prevention

Providing your dog with the right vaccine is the best way to prevent any viruses in entering your dog’s system. “Prevention is better than cure,” right?

It is indeed much better if the problem is stopped before it happens rather than stopping it after it has started. Vaccination is a must, so as discipline in preventing canine distemper in dogs.

You can keep your dog healthy by giving them a nutritious and balanced diet, and regular exercise. If possible, prevent them from socializing with unvaccinated dogs.

It is also necessary to have a periodic visit to your trusted veterinarian for check-ups to lessen the possibility of contracting diseases and receive immediate treatment if there are any complications to your furry friend’s health.


Dogs are one of the most loyal animals you could ask for, and they are one of the best companions in your home. They provide so much warmth that it is heart-shattering when they pass away, especially when it’s because of viruses.

There are numerous viruses lingering around them, but with proper care and support, it is possible to prevent them from disrupting your dog’s life.

It is quite shocking how common distemper is, knowing how lethal this virus could be when it hits the canine species. If you want to save more pets from these lethal diseases like distemper, you can be a volunteer at Doobert by reaching out to us today.

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