Can A Dog With Distemper Take A Bath?

Vets’ advice with regards to keeping your pet dog healthy is very important to keep in mind, especially when it comes to distemper. If you are one of those fur parents who ask, “can a dog with distemper take a bath,” here’s a guide to help you.

Understanding Distemper In Dogs

Canine distemper virus (CDV) is the root of distemper disease that every dog or puppy can acquire. The initial signs of distemper in dogs show up one to four weeks for most cases, and they are sometimes mistaken to be just a simple disease.

Signs And Symptoms Of Distemper In Dogs

One of the ways to know if your fur baby is suffering from distemper is to look for its signs and symptoms. 

  1. Fever
  2. Lethargy
  3. Nasal discharge
  4. Sneezing
  5. Breathing difficulty
  6. Coughing
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Vomiting
  9. Skin sores
  10. Loss of appetite
  11. Pneumonia
  12. Depletion of white blood cells
  13. Pain

On the other hand, distemper can also affect your pup’s brain, causing them to suffer from brain inflammation and neurological symptoms like:

  1. Seizures
  2. Partial paralysis/whole body paralysis
  3. Involuntary eye movements
  4. Head tilting
  5. Excessive saliva
  6. Muscle twitching
  7. Chronic generalized tremor
  8. Depression
  9. Ataxia

How To Clean Your Dog With Distemper

You cannot give your dog a bath if it has distemper, so you’ll need to wait while they are still in the process of recovery. However, there is another option to give them refreshment for the meantime — the dry bath.

There are plenty of dry bath supplies out there, so make sure to visit your local pet store or take time to research online. If you need further help, you can always ask your vet for reliable options. Make sure that you’ll choose a hypoallergenic product for your dog so you won’t accidentally add up to their current discomfort.

When To Start Bathing Your Pups

Now that you have the idea about the distemper disease and its proper treatment, the next thing to think about is scheduling their next bath.

Generally, you need to wait for your distemper-infected dog to recover before you give him a bath. This might take a while since the pup will rely entirely on his immune system. If you want to speed up the process, make sure that you will provide sufficient care for your furry friend.

For most veterinarians, the common time frame of recovery from distemper lasts up to 2 months. After that, you can check if your dog stopped exhibiting the signs of the disease. If you think that he has fully recovered, ask for your vet’s go signal so you can give him his long-awaited bath.

Preventing Distemper

Maybe you are also thinking if distemper can only occur in dogs. Even though there is no evidence of humans having this kind of disease, prevention is always better than cure. If you notice that one of your pets is showing symptoms, you better put them away from the other furries and clean your house daily.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to take some extra time to clean yourself up as you handle your dog. Distemper easily spreads on any surface, and that includes your clothes and accessories. Make sure to thoroughly disinfect your skin every time you have the chance, and throw your clothes in the washer as soon as you replace them.

Having the time and discipline to do these things will help your pup recover sooner than you expect. This will also help you protect your other pets from the disease.

Distemper Treatment 

If you are worrying about your fur baby with distemper, they can actually get treatments to help them overcome and recover from the disease.

Distemper treatment for dogs can vary, depending on the symptoms that they show. However, this treatment consists of supportive clinical care and is pet friendly.

  • Gastrointestinal support – This support is given to every dog when they suffer from severe vomiting and diarrhea that leads to dehydration. To prevent dehydration, some cases require IFT or intravenous fluid therapy, antibiotics, anti-vomiting medications, probiotics, gastrointestinal protectants, and other intravenous nutritional support. 
  • Respiratory support – Dogs with severe pneumonia may need respiratory support for having trouble breathing, pain during inhaling and exhaling, and chronic coughing. If your pups show these symptoms, they will need oxygen therapy, antibiotics, antiviral medications, and hospitalization.
  • Neurological support – Dogs with distemper may experience chronic seizures that can last for several minutes, which may also lead to brain damage and death. If this is the case for your dog, he needs hospitalization and monitoring along with medications for seizures.

If you want to know more about canine diseases, you can take some time to research diabetes in dogs.


Distemper is probably one of the worst things that can happen to your fur baby. Aside from dealing with the disease itself, we cannot help but feel sorry for them since they cannot get the regular pampering they deserve.

If you’re still wondering “can a dog with distemper take a bath,” the quick answer to this is no. You need to wait for your pup to recover so you can avoid further complications.

There are plenty of animals in need out there, and if you have a heart for these babies, you can easily become a volunteer today! Doobert is constantly looking for people who are willing to adopt and help their team.

What are you waiting for? Visit their website today and be a part of the change!

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