Activities For Dogs With Distemper

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Introduction

Distemper is a contagious, viral disease with no known cure that can affect many animals, and also wild and domestic dogs, cats, primates, and others. In dogs, distemper can attack several systems in the body, including respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, as well as the brain and the spinal cord. It is of utmost importance that the disease is diagnosed and treated, so keep on reading on to find out more about distemper, how to spot it, how to treat it, and ultimately, how to improve your dog’s quality of life with proper care. Your dog will be highly limited in any activities they can partake in as they fight this illness.

Spot the Symptoms

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
24 - 72 hrs
Items needed
Thermometer
pen
notebook
Activity description

Before we start assuming the worst, we always need to approach these things studiously and seriously. Panicking won’t get you anywhere, it will just cause stress to both you and your dog, and we all know that stress is one of the worst things we can do in dire situations. So, stay calm, and open your eyes, and look for common symptoms of this disease. It would not hurt to write down everything that you notice so that you can have the most accurate information for your vet who can diagnose the condition much easier with an abundance of information.

Step
1
Initial stages
In the beginning stages of Canine Distemper, you may notice that your dog is running a high fever, over 103.5° F, or 39.7° C. Use your thermometer to check this, do not just assume. You may also notice that their eyes are red and that they have a watery discharge from their eyes and nose.
Step
2
Lethargy
Next, what you are looking for are changes in your dog’s behavior. This will always be a good indicator of whether or not something is wrong. A dog infected with distemper will be lethargic, they will seem tired, refuse food, and become anorexic. Keep your eyes open.
Step
3
Serious symptoms
Other, more serious symptoms of the disease may include seizures, hysteria attacks, and even paralysis if the brain and spinal cord are affected. What you may also notice is the enlargement of your dog’s feet, which is why distemper is sometimes called hard pad disease.
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Diagnosis

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Activity description

When it comes to the diagnosis of any disease, the best thing you can do is leave it to the professionals and not to try to diagnose anything yourself. Your vet will be able to assess the situation, especially if you have been a responsible dog owner and wrote down all the symptoms you have noticed. Your dog’s health insurance card is necessary here, as a series of tests will be performed, and what also matters is that you stay calm and composed during the whole process, not to stress out your dog, and to provide emotional support. 

Step
1
Tests
The first thing your vet will do is perform a series of test. Urine analysis and biochemical tests are necessary, as they can also show if the number of lymphocytes is lower, it will show the white blood cell count, and show if the disease is in the initial stages.
Step
2
Serology test
The serology test is used to identify the positive antibodies. However, the drawback is that It cannot distinguish between the antibodies caused by vaccination and the antibodies caused by the exposure to the virulent virus. Also, the viral antigens can be tested through urine sediment or vaginal imprints.
Step
3
Radiographs
Your vet may also perform a radiograph, which can determine whether your dog has pneumonia or not. Also, they may order a CT scan and an MRI scan which can show any lesions on the brain. These tests can be a bit stressful for your dog, so make sure that you are calm and that you provide a lot of love and support throughout the process.
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Treatment

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
24 - 72 hrs
Items needed
Medicine
Activity description

Once distemper has been diagnosed, it is time to treat it. The sad news is that there is no cure, however, what you can do is to care for your dog and make their lives easier. This is done by the prevention of other infections and diseases. You need to be careful when it comes to diarrhea, vomiting, as well as the neurological symptoms that may arise. If your dog becomes anorexic or if they have serious diarrhea, they may need intravenous supportive fluids. Also, your vet may prescribe antibiotics to control the symptoms which the secondary bacteria may cause.

Step
1
Management
Monitoring your dog’s health is of utmost importance when it comes to distemper. You have to be careful and avoid dehydration caused by diarrhea, as well as the development of pneumonia. You have to go to the vet regularly and monitor the central nervous system and look for seizures which may damage your dog’s brain.
Step
2
Fighting
Since distemper has no cure, it is of vital importance that you fight the disease with everything you have. Regularly giving your dog electrolyte solutions, analgesics, as well as anticonvulsants will greatly aid in the alleviation of the secondary symptoms and improve your dog’s quality of life.
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More Fun Ideas...

Socializing Caution

One more thing you need to be careful of the socialization of your dog. Try to avoid interaction with unvaccinated dogs to avoid infection, and always be careful when you are in nature to avoid contact with animals who are not properly vaccinated.

Prevention

The best way to cure, as always, is to prevent disease. Routine vaccination is an absolute must, as well as regular checkups to make sure that everything is functioning properly. You need to be aware and ready to react. 

Conclusion

Even though distemper is, unfortunately, an incurable disease, it is still possible to maintain the quality of your dog’s life and make it a little bit easier to cope with the illness. Be conscientious and responsible, and always look for the signs of secondary infections that can make matters worse. Providing a lot of love and care is essential, and keeping your dog happy will help with the disease management and overall quality of life. So, a lot of love, a lot of tenderness, and a lot of care will go a long way! Once they are feeling bettter, taking them for walks and playing games at home can resume, lifting your pup's spirits.